News, March 20th

MONUMENT, Colo. (AP) – Colorado authorities are looking for a dark-colored “boxy” car seen near the house of the state’s head of Corrections Department who was shot to death when he answered the door. The vehicle’s engine was running and a witness reported seeing one person driving away in the car. Tom Clements was shot last night in Monument, north of Colorado Springs. Authorities say investigators have not ruled anything out, but it could have been related to his job.

DENVER (AP) – Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has signed bills placing new restrictions on firearms exactly eight months after dozens of people were shot in an Aurora movie theater. The bills signed today require background checks for private and online gun sales and ban ammunition magazines that hold more than 15 rounds. The signing comes the day after Colorado Corrections chief Tom Clements was shot and killed at his home.

DENVER (AP) – Repealing the death penalty is up for another day of debate at the Colorado Legislature. A House committee starts work today on a proposal to ask voters whether the death penalty should be repealed. The bill is a rival to a separate death penalty bill that would repeal the punishment outright. Lawmakers heard about nine hours of emotional testimony on the outright repeal yesterday but delayed a vote.

DENVER (AP) – A former El Paso County deputy sheriff has pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money-laundering charges. The U.S. Attorney said today that David Hawkins of Colorado Springs pleaded guilty last week. Prosecutors say Hawkins collected $1.2 million from his colleagues at the sheriff’s office, other law enforcement officers, friends and relatives for trading foreign exchange funds.

ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK, Colo. (AP) – A Rocky Mountain National Park team has found an Estes Park man who was believed to have died in a fall during an avalanche late Sunday. The team found the body of David Laurienti yesterday and today rangers plan to make recovery plans today. Park officials say it appears Laurienti and climbing partner Lisa Foster were caught in an avalanche on Ypsilon Mountain. Foster was taken to a hospital yesterday morning.

DENVER (AP) – A plan to train those working in Colorado’s medical marijuana business is on the governor’s desk. The measure would create a “responsible medical marijuana vendor” moniker for pot shops that train employees in regulation of the drug and how to spot fake marijuana cards. In exchange, the businesses could get a break if they run afoul of state regulations.