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Colorado prison chief found dead

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Posted at 7:45 AM, Mar 20, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-20 09:46:42-04

By Ashley Fantz, CNN

(CNN) — The executive director of Colorado’s prison system has been found dead in his home, and authorities believe someone killed him, a spokesman for Gov. John Hickenlooper said early Wednesday.

Tom Clements, executive director of the Colorado Department of Corrections, was found dead at his home in Black Forest, Colorado, spokesman Eric Brown said.

Authorities believe Clements, 58, was killed there Tuesday night, according to Brown.

A family member called 911 at 8:37 p.m. Tuesday reporting that a shooting happened, said Lt. Jeff Kramer of the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office. Investigators arrived to find Clements and worked the scene all night collecting evidence, Kramer said Wednesday morning on CNN.

Asked about any suspects or a possible motive, Kramer responded that authorities know that Clements’ position with the prison system “opens a dynamic” in the investigation, meaning that someone related to the prisons may have wanted to harm him. “We’re sensitive to that,” Kramer said, but that authorities are “remaining open-minded” about all angles.

Further details about Clements’ death weren’t immediately available. Black Forest is less than 20 miles northeast of Colorado Springs.

The governor has ordered flags in the state lowered to half-staff from sunrise to sunset until after Clements’ funeral. Arrangements are still being made.

Clements leaves a wife, Lisa, and two daughters, Rachel and Sara, the governor’s office said.

Hickenlooper appointed Clements the chief of the state’s prison system in January 2011, according to Clements’ state online biography. Before that post, he worked for 31 years in the Missouri Department of Corrections. From October 2007 until January 2011, Clements was the director of adult institutions for MDOC, the bio says, overseeing 21 adult prisons.

CNN’s Tina Burnside contributed to this report.

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