Tom Clements, Colorado's late prisons chief, had initially approved of a transfer that would have allowed inmate Homaidan al-Turki to complete his prison sentence in his home country of Saudi Arabia, but that was before authorities say Clements received a call from the FBI and ultimately denied the request.
Documents and emails stretching back to 2012 reveal that the FBI notified state officials that al-Turki was being investigated for possible ties to terrorist organizations, according to KDVR.
A report by The Associated Press reveals that Clements was ready to grant al-Turki's transfer in January, but denied it after an FBI agent called saying he had information about al-Turki. That information has remained secret however, and in the transfer denial letter Clements cited al-Turki's refusal to undergo sex offender treatment, which Colorado law requires of convicted sex offenders.
A mere nine days after denying al-Turki's transfer request, Clements was found shot to death at his doorstep in El Paso County.
Shortly after Clements' death, media reports began to point to al-Turki's denied transfer request as a possible motive and al-Turki was later moved into a federal prison in Englewood for security reasons.
But in the immediate days after Clements' death, a 28-year-old parolee -- and member of white supremacist gang known as the 211 Crew -- named Evan Ebel was killed in a high-speed chase with Texas police. A ballistics test found that the gun Ebel used during the shootout with Texas police was the same one used to kill Clements and Nathan Leon, 28, a pizza delivery driver whose uniform was allegedly used by Ebel when he arrived at Clements' home.
However, al-Turki continues to be under investigation in connection to Clements' death.
“If in fact a connection is made to al-Turki and we’re advised he’s a person of interest [in Clements' killing], then he would be forever out of our reach in terms of our ability to prosecute him,” Prosecutor Ann Tomsic said about the prospect of al-Turki being transferred out of the U.S. in the KDVR report.
According to The Denver Post, investigators have been searching for any links including prohibited transactions made between al-Turki and the 211 Crew in prison. The gang is reported to have approximately 1,000 members behind bars in Colorado.
The case has stirred international attention, packed his courtroom with supporters and prompted the need for additional security for hearings. The hashtag #colorado_free_alturki was even one of the highest trending topics on Twitter over the weekend.
An Arapahoe County judge is expected to rule within the next few months on whether al-Turki can be transfered to Saudi Arabia.
Al-Turki is currently serving a Colorado prison sentence for sexually assaulting a housekeeper whom he kept as a virtual slave in his home. He was convicted in 2006 and sentenced to 28 years to life for committing unlawful sexual contact by use of force, theft and extortion. Al-Turki has maintained his innocence however and has contended that the case was politically motivated and stems from anti-Muslim sentiment following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.