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Thursday
Mar212013

Slain Colorado Prison Chief Denied Saudi's Return Days Before Killing

Hemera/Thinkstock(MONUMENT, Colo.) -- Days before Tom Clements was shot dead at his home, the Colorado prison chief had denied the request of a Saudi national convicted in 2006 of false imprisonment and sexual assault to serve his prison sentence in Saudi Arabia.

The case has come to the attention of detectives investigating the murder of Clements at his Monument, Colo. home Tuesday night, according to ABC television affiliate KMGH, citing anonymous sources.

It's not clear if other cases stemming from Clements' job as the state's prison chief are also being eyed by the cops.

Just a week before his murder, Clements wrote a letter on March 11 to convicted Saudi national Homaidan al-Turki, stating that he was denying his request to complete his sentence in his home country.

Al-Turki, whose company Al-Basheer Publications & Translations sold CDs of speeches by Islamic militant Anwar al-Awlaki, had complained during his trial that the prosecution was the result of a government conspiracy. Al-Awlaki was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Yemen in 2011.

In his letter to al-Turki, Clements cited al-Turki's refusal to participate in sex offender rehabilitation programs.

"Information provided indicates that you have been given multiple opportunities to be screened by the Sex Offender Treatment and Monitoring Program," Clements wrote to al-Turki. "You have reportedly declined based upon religious reasons/conflicts with your Islamic faith."

"I have decided not to support your request for transfer to Saudi Arabia at this time. I would encourage you to reconsider your position regarding participation in required treatment," the letter continued.

Al-Turki was convicted in 2006 of the sexual assault of his Indonesian housekeeper. According to an affidavit, al-Turki and his wife kept their housekeeper as a virtual slave, allegedly paying her $2 per day and forcing her to sleep on a mattress in his basement.

Al-Turki has been serving a 28-year prison sentence in Colorado's Limon Correctional Facility since 2009. In February 2011, al-Turki's sentence was reduced to eight years to life.

The case attracted international attention throughout his trial, and the conviction was seen across parts of the Muslim world as a result of Islamophobia. Colorado Attorney General John Suther met with Saudi King Abdullah, the Crown Prince and al-Turki's family in 2006 at the request of the U.S. State Department to put the Saudi royal family's concerns at ease over al-Turki's treatment.

Lt. Jeff Kramer, a spokesman for the El Paso County Sheriff's office, said Wednesday that investigators are keeping an open mind and had not yet ruled out whether Clements was the victim of a random shooting.

Police have said they are "sensitive to the fact there could be any number of people who have a motive."

Authorities are also hoping a woman who was seen speed-walking in the neighborhood Tuesday night will come forward. She was described by witnesses as being between the ages of 35 and 50 and was dressed in a hat, dark wind-breaker and white pants, Kramer said.

Police Wednesday were going house to house trying to find out what neighbors heard and saw, and K-9 units were deployed to see whether they could locate anything that might be helpful in the investigation.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio