Monday, May 13, 2013

Remembering crime victims

It is very important that we remember the two victims who police say were killed by a prison parolee.

Tom Clements was loved by many people and we’ve worked to cover his life and keep his memory alive. Nate Leon worked part time delivering pizzas so he, his wife and three kids had some extra money.

Some viewers have asked me why we’re still talking about Evan Ebel, the man police think murdered both men. It is a legitimate question.

Ebel died after getting in a shootout Texas police.

I have worked to uncover new details in the case because it’s important that we understand, the best we can, what drove Ebel to allegedly kill.

Without asking questions and digging for new information, I wouldn’t have learned Ebel was accidently released from prison four years too early. A court error is responsible for his release.

The state is now taking a look at prisoner sentences to make sure other mistakes haven’t been made.

If there are other issues the public needs to know about, I hope to find them and let you know.

That’s why I keep reporting on Evan Ebel.

I don’t want us to forget the victims.

Here are just a few of the stories 9NEWS has done on Clements and Leon. We have wanted to help viewers better know these two respected men.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Why I thought it was important to report I found nothing

We have a goal at Channel 9 to be consistently transparent.

I think it’s important to post a story after Douglas County Sheriff’s records show the office instructed deputies to treat a report of domestic violence at the undersheriff’s house like any other call.

Law enforcement and other viewers have sent us tips questioning whether deputies took longer than usual to respond to the call. The sheriff’s office has sent out two news releases about the incident. (Read the 2nd news release here.)

The latest was to report that the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office reviewed the whole matter and found nothing improper occurred either between Undersheriff Tony Spurlock and his wife or in how deputies handled the call.

Some might say the story is a non-story, and I can see that argument.

But the fact that allegations of wrongdoing have been flying and the evidence I have today indicates the call was handled properly means people deserve to have their names cleared. The issue has also become a hot one, which is why the sheriff’s office has sent two news releases.

Had the documents shown the call wasn’t handled properly, you can bet I’d be doing a story. Seems fair to do critical stories and ones that show the system working properly.