Head of Colorado Prison System Slain, Gunman On The Loose

March 20, 2013
By

The head of the Colorado Department of Corrections, Tom Clements, was slain, barely a week after denying a transfer to convicted Saudi rapist Homaidan al-Turki

DENVER — A senior official who made headlines last week for blocking the transfer of a convicted Saudi rapist was slain at his home last night.

Tom Clements, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Corrections was shot and killed at his Monument home when he opened the door Tuesday night at approximately 8:30 p.m., according to police.

Authorities are reporting the gunman is on the loose. They are searching for a late-model, two-door, “boxy” style vehicle, similar to a 1990s-era Lincoln. The car was described by the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office as dark and shiny in color.

A K-9 unit sent to the crime scene has not been able to turn up anything, leading some to consider the possibility that the murder was a professional hit.

Last week, Clements turned down the request for transfer of convicted rapist Homaidan al-Turki to Saudi Arabia. In 2006, al-Turki was convicted of repeatedly raping an Indonesian maid that he kept as a virtual slave in his basement in Aurora for four years.

In addition to his sex crimes, al-Turki has been tied to al-Qaeda member Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed by a U.S. drone strike for his role in the planning of numerous terrorist attacks against the United States. Al-Turki’s publishing company owned the rights to a number of Awlaki’s jihadist sermons and he was reportedly in contact with the now deceased terrorist.

In denying al-Turki’s transfer request, Clements noted the Saudi man refused to undergo treatment while in prison. Prosecutors in the case expressed concern that al-Turki would be let go after returning to Saudi Arabia, as Saudi law requires four eyewitnesses to convict on rape charges. 

The Saudi government was heavily involved in al-Turki’s case, with Saudi King Abdullah weighing in against the prosecution and the Saudi government reportedly paying for al-Turki’s defense. 

In 2006, Colorado Attorney General John Suthers flew to Saudi Arabia to meet with the King and other high ranking Saudi officials about the case.

A 2006 classified State Department cable written by Deputy Chief of Mission in Saudi Arabia, Michael Gfoeller, said that “some Saudi contacts even fear that [the conviction of al-Turki] could encourage acts against Americans both inside and outside the U.S., including terrorist actions.” 

At this time, authorities say no motive has been identified for the killing of Clements, but robbery appears to have been ruled out. 

Governor Hickenlooper, who appointed Clements to his position, said in a statement that he “can hardly believe it, let alone write words to describe it.”

Clements is survived by his wife, Lisa, and two daughters.

This post was written by

Tyler Sandberg – who has written posts on The Colorado Observer.

Email

Comments made by visitors are not representative of The Colorado Observer staff.

10 Responses to Head of Colorado Prison System Slain, Gunman On The Loose

  1. wrongheifer
    March 20, 2013 at 11:23 am

    This is sad and I’m so very sorry for the family and friends of this obviously good man…

    On the flip side…Why are we flying John Suthers to confer with the Saudi’s on this one convict? They have zero to do with our judicial system!..OR, do they?

    Everyone feeling ‘safer’ now that chickenpooper has signed those gun bills into law?…

  2. March 20, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    Hope and pray the SOB that did this is quickly caught and becomes an example of why Colorado should not repeal the death penalty. This is the sort of cowardly act of aggravated murder that deserves the ultimate punishment.

  3. Facebookstuff
    March 21, 2013 at 1:00 am

    Sounds like a professional hit by Saudis. They are a law unto them selves and the whole world can go to hell in the worst way. Sadly I think this illustrates exactly that. My most sincere sympathies to the family. I know that no words can ever express what they are going thru now.

Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The Complete Colorado
Colorado Peak Politics - Sometimes Unruly. Always Conservative.

Visitor Poll

Do you support blocking oil and gas severance tax dollars from distribution to communities where that energy development is banned?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

The Colorado Observer