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US Bevin pardons include convicted killer whose brother hosted campaign fundraiser for him

01:50  13 december  2019
01:50  13 december  2019 Source:   courier-journal.com

GOP governor pardons alligator hunter who beheaded ex-lover and stuffed her into barrel

  GOP governor pardons alligator hunter who beheaded ex-lover and stuffed her into barrel Republican Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin recently pardoned a man who was convicted of murdering a woman whom had recently ended their affair. © (AP Photo/John Minchillo) Kentucky Gov. Mark Bevin speaks before the arrival of President Trump during a rally at the Kentucky Exposition Center, Monday, March 20, 2017, in Louisville, Ky. Bevin, who lost his reelection bid to Democrat Andy Beshear last month, had issued several controversial pardons and commutations during his final days in office. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

“JUST IN: Bevin pardons include convicted killer whose brother hosted campaign fundraiser for him last year: https “@adwolfson @courierjournal The brother of the man convicted of murder in 2017 hosted a fundraiser for Matt Bevin 's 2015 campaign account at his house last summer, where

Bevin issued 428 pardons since he was defeated by Democrat Andy Beshear in a close election in He also pardoned Dayton Jones, who was convicted in the sexual assault of a 15-year-old Steele was particularly disturbed by the pardon of Patrick Brian Baker, whose brother hosted a fundraiser

The family of a man pardoned by Gov. Matt Bevin for a homicide and other crimes in a fatal 2014 Knox County home invasion raised $21,500 at a political fundraiser last year to retire debt from Bevin’s 2015 gubernatorial campaign.

The brother and sister-in-law of offender Patrick Brian Baker also gave $4,000 to Bevin’s campaign on the day of the fundraiser, according to the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance database.

Matt Bevin, Ousted in Kentucky, Sets Off Furor With ‘Extreme Pardons’

  Matt Bevin, Ousted in Kentucky, Sets Off Furor With ‘Extreme Pardons’ Delmar Partin was convicted of strangling a woman and stuffing her body in a barrel. Micah Schoettle was sent to prison after a middle schooler testified that he had repeatedly sexually assaulted her, starting from the time she was 9. Patrick Baker was found guilty of killing a man and impersonating a United States marshal during a robbery. All three men walked out of prison this week after Kentucky’s outgoing governor, Matt Bevin, issued more than 400 pardons and commutations during the final days of his administration.His actions set off a controversy that continued to ripple across the commonwealth on Friday, days after Mr.

Please read the rules before joining the discussion. Gov. Bevin pardons 10, including 3 Louisville men. The pardons were granted in the spirit of independence and liberty that is celebrated on the Fourth of Rory Crowe was convicted in 2003 of first-degree wanton endangerment. Other pardons

Former Governor Bevin also pardoned Blake Peterson Walker, who was convicted in Adair County of murdering his parents in 2002. In Bevin 's pardon , he states he can't "capture my full thought process as I have weighed the decision of how to handle commutation and pardon " of Walker.

A photo of Bevin attending the July 26, 2018, fundraiser at the home of Eric and Kathryn Baker in Corbin was published six days later in a local paper, the News Journal.

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Commonwealth’s Attorney Jackie Steele, who prosecuted Patrick Baker and other defendants for the 2014 death of Donald Mills, told The Courier Journal on Wednesday it would be an “understatement to say I am aggrieved” by Bevin’s pardon.

Steele identified Patrick Baker as the brother of Eric Baker, who hosted the Bevin fundraiser at his Corbin home.

The Friday order was one of 428 pardons and commutations Bevin issued since his narrow loss in November to Democrat Andy Beshear, who was sworn into office Tuesday.

'Completely inappropriate': McConnell doesn't 'approve' of Gov. Bevin controversial lame duck pardons

  'Completely inappropriate': McConnell doesn't 'approve' of Gov. Bevin controversial lame duck pardons Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell derided Republican Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin for several controversial pardons and commutations."Honestly, I don't approve. It seems to me it was completely inappropriate. I respect he had the power to do it, but looking at the examples of people who were incarcerated as a result of heinous crimes, no, I don't approve of it," McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, said while addressing reporters on Friday.

Matt Bevin before he left office — including one for a convicted murderer whose family hosted a political fundraiser for Bevin 's campaign . Other beneficiaries included an offender convicted of raping a child. Bevin 's successor, Democrat Andy Beshear, was sworn in on Tuesday.

JUST IN: Bevin pardons include convicted killer whose brother hosted campaign fundraiser for him last year: https That's extremely misleading. The warrant didn't allow for any surveillance of Trump & Page was out of the Trump campaign when the warrant was filed.

The beneficiaries include one offender convicted of raping a child, another who hired a hit man to kill his business partner and a third who killed his parents.

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a man looking at the camera: In one of his final acts in office, Gov. Matt Bevin pardoned Patrick Baker after he served two years of a 19-year sentence for reckless homicide and other charges.© Kentucky Corrections Department In one of his final acts in office, Gov. Matt Bevin pardoned Patrick Baker after he served two years of a 19-year sentence for reckless homicide and other charges.

Steele noted Baker served two years of a 19-year sentence on his conviction for reckless homicide, robbery, impersonating a peace officer and tampering with evidence.

Steele, who, like Bevin, is a Republican, also cited the fact that two of Baker’s co-defendants are still in prison. "What makes Mr. Baker any different than the other two?" he asked.

Answering that question, he said he believes Baker was pardoned while the others remain locked up because Baker’s family has given generously to Bevin. State records show that Victoria Baker, who lives at the same Corbin address where the fundraiser was held, donated $1,000 in 2015 and that Kathryn Baker gave another $500 to Bevin’s reelection in March.

'Completely inappropriate': McConnell doesn't 'approve' of Gov. Bevin controversial lame duck pardons

  'Completely inappropriate': McConnell doesn't 'approve' of Gov. Bevin controversial lame duck pardons Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell derided Republican Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin for several controversial pardons and commutations."Honestly, I don't approve. It seems to me it was completely inappropriate. I respect he had the power to do it, but looking at the examples of people who were incarcerated as a result of heinous crimes, no, I don't approve of it," McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, said while addressing reporters on Friday.

'Monster': Convicted child killer Osvaldo Rivera, 34, Osvaldo Rivera, 34, has pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 2-year-old boy. A southern New Jersey man who is in prison for killing a 6-year-old boy has admitted sexually assaulting a 2-year-old in a separate case.

Arpaio, who had campaigned for Trump, had come under fire for the treatment of prisoners in the Maricopa County jail. In April, the president also pardoned Scooter Libby, a former advisor to Vice President Dick Cheney who had been convicted of obstruction of justice, false statements and perjury.

Matt Bevin wearing a suit and tie: Gov. Matt Bevin requests a recanvass of votes in the gubernatorial election© Sam Upshaw Jr. Gov. Matt Bevin requests a recanvass of votes in the gubernatorial election

In a pardon order Friday, Bevin said Baker had made “a series of unwise decisions in his adult life” and that his drug addiction “resulted in his association with people that in turn led to his arrest, prosecution and conviction for murder.”

Bevin wrote that the evidence supporting Baker’s conviction is “sketchy at best. I am not convinced that justice has been served on the death of Donald Mills, nor am I convinced that the evidence has proven the involvement of Patrick Baker as a murderer.”

(Although the pardon says Baker was convicted of murder, court records show that was amended to reckless homicide.)

Bevin commuted his sentence to time served and gave him a pardon.

Earlier: Bevin pardons man serving life sentence for sex abuse of stepdaughter

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State prison records showed that Baker, 41, was still at Northpoint Training Center on Wednesday.

Former Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin’s 428 pardons are upsetting both Democrats and Republicans

  Former Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin’s 428 pardons are upsetting both Democrats and Republicans Before leaving office, Bevin pardoned a number of people incarcerated for violent crimes, a decision Democrats slammed and Mitch McConnell called “completely inappropriate.”The decision has drawn criticism from both the left and the right, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell calling the pardons “completely inappropriate” and Beshear calling the pardon of Dayton Jones, who was convicted of raping a child “wrong.

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All federal pardon petitions are addressed to the President, who grants or denies the request. George Wilson was convicted of robbing the US Mail in Pennsylvania and sentenced to death. Due to his friends' influence, Wilson was pardoned by President Andrew Jackson.

If not for Bevin’s clemency order, Baker would not have been eligible for parole until July 2027. The minimum date for expiration of his sentence would have been January 2034.

Eric Baker could not be reached for comment. A woman who identified herself as Kathryn Baker immediately hung up on a Courier Journal reporter Wednesday night after he mentioned the pardon of Patrick Baker and did not answer follow-up phone calls.

There was no answer at Eric and Kathryn Baker's listed address Thursday morning when a reporter rang the buzzer at the gate.

a close up of a bridge: The home of Eric and Kathryn Baker where a fundraiser for then-Gov. Matt Bevin was held.© Ben Tobin The home of Eric and Kathryn Baker where a fundraiser for then-Gov. Matt Bevin was held.

The manager for Bevin’s reelection campaign, Davis Paine, and the governor's former chief of staff, Blake Brickman, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Judge David Williams, the former president of the Kentucky Senate, sentenced Baker in 2017. He said in 30 years of practice: “I’ve never seen a more compelling or complete case … the evidence was just overwhelming.”

Steele said in an email to a Courier Journal reporter that Baker was the most culpable of the defendants because “he was the one who shot Mr. Mills.”

According to his indictment, Baker and co-defendant Christopher Bradley Wagner posed as law enforcement officials to force their way into Mills’ home, where they fought with Mills before Baker shot him.

Attorneys for convicted killer pardoned by Bevin suggest police corruption in Baker case

  Attorneys for convicted killer pardoned by Bevin suggest police corruption in Baker case Baker's brother hosted a fundraiser for Bevin at his Corbin home last year, which netted $21,500 to retire the governor's 2015 campaign debt.A press release on Monday from Baker's attorneys also claims family members of murder victim Donald Mills described the killer's physical characteristics as being different from Baker, the same point emphasized by Bevin in his interview with The Courier Journal on Saturday night.

30 fundraiser hosted by former Arizona Gov. Fife Symington in the state’s Camelback Mountain. Symington was convicted of bank and wire fraud and The event is listed on a document circulated among donors and obtained by TPMDC listing several upcoming fundraisers for Republican Senate

But most whose cases won’t be resolved are people convicted of serious crimes like murder. Rather than expend limited resources issuing formal denials, the administration focused on approving those eligible under Mr. Obama’s guidelines. A look at the higher-profile cases vying for last-minute clemency

They also restrained Mills' wife and took various items from the house. Three children were also in the home at the time of the crime.

Wagner, who was sentenced to 10 years for manslaughter and robbery, is still serving  his sentence, as is Elijah Message, who got 20 years for second-degree manslaughter and robbery.

Bevin issued 428 pardons and commutations from Election Day through the end of his term Monday, according to the Secretary of State's Office.

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He pardoned Micah Schoettle, who was convicted last year of raping a 9-year-old child in Kenton County and sentenced last year to 23 years in prison.

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  Bevin says a pardoned murderer is 'a new man.' He had 30 disciplinary violations in prison Brett Dustin Whittaker, 36, pleaded guilty in 2011 for murdering a pastor and his wife while driving under the influence in Lincoln County.In a Dec. 6 pardon order, Bevin said "no lives are made better" by keeping Brett Dustin Whittaker, 36, incarcerated, adding that Whittaker has "utilized the past nine years in prison to transform his life spiritually, emotionally and psychologically.

Among others pardoned by Beshear was Gregory Eric Dearing, of Louisville, a former top aide to former Jefferson County Judge-Executive Dave Armstrong. Beshear follows his predecessors, Govs. Ernie Fletcher and Brereton Jones, in granting pardons or commuting sentences of women who had

However, when his half- brother Herb unexpectedly shows, Homer agrees to loan the money to him. Danny DeVito guest starred in the episode as Homer's brother Herb. Dimes?" included a scene in which town drunk Barney Gumble knocked out Frazier, who was a former world heavyweight champion.

Bevin wrote that Schoettle was convicted of a heinous crime "based only on testimony that was not supported by any physical evidence.” He added that the case “was investigated and prosecuted in a manner that was sloppy at best. I do not believe that the charges against Mr. Schoettle are true.”

But that explanation infuriated Kenton County Commonwealth's Attorney Rob Sanders, who prosecuted Schoettle.

“So, I guess Matt Bevin thinks he’s smarter than the 12 citizens that heard the actual evidence,” Sanders said. “I’ve got news for him: Child molesting rarely happens in front of witnesses or leaves physical evidence. If we didn’t pursue those cases, 99% of child rapists would never be prosecuted.”

"This irresponsible manipulation of the justice system is why the public’s confidence is constantly eroded," Sanders added. "No one from the Bevin administration gave any warning this was coming. If they had, we’d have shown them why these rapists and killers were behind bars to begin with. These pardons regurgitate false statements of defense attorneys that juries of Kentucky citizens obviously didn’t believe."

Bevin also pardoned:

  • Kathy Harless, who was convicted of murder in Grayson County in 2003 and sentenced to life in prison after she gave birth in a flea market outhouse and threw the baby in a cesspool. Bevin wrote that she had "paid enough for the death of her newborn son.”
  • Blake Walker, who was convicted in 2003 in Adair County of killing his parents, Barbara Peterson, 55, a Lindsey Wilson College teacher, and her husband, Brian Walker, 54, who worked in construction and was a former Peace Corps volunteer, and leaving their bodies in a basement. He was 16 at the time.

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Bevin wrote that Walker, now 33, is "blessed by a loving and forgiving family and it is this alone that tips the delicate balance in the direction of his request."

‘How? How? How?’: Victims’ Families Rage as Matt Bevin Defends Pardons

  ‘How? How? How?’: Victims’ Families Rage as Matt Bevin Defends Pardons The mother was at home preparing cheese sticks and a milkshake when she got the call. On the other line, a prosecutor had surprising news about the man who had been convicted of repeatedly sexually assaulting her child and sentenced last year to 23 years in prison. In one of his last acts in office, the outgoing governor, Matt Bevin, had weighed in on the case. Citing a lack of physical evidence and a “sloppy” investigation, Mr. Bevin issued an unconditional pardon. The convicted man, Micah Schoettle, 41, a close relative of the girl, had walked out of prison earlier that day.

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He also said that while Walker committed a crime "for which only God can provide true forgiveness," he was commuting Walker's sentence "so that he can proceed with his life, unrestricted in his efforts to serve the world and the needs of others in a way that would best honor the lives and life work of his mother and father."

But Adair Commonwealth’s Attorney Brian Wright, who prosecuted Walker, said he was "disgusted, frustrated and upset" by the pardon, which he called a travesty. He said Bevin's office never consulted him about it, and that Walker agreed to the sentence in a plea agreement.

  • Irvin Edge, who was convicted of murder and solicitation to murder for hiring a hit man to kill his business partner in 1991 in Daviess County. According to court records, the killer came to victim Charles Westerfield’s door, asked to see him, and then shot and killed him in front of his family members. He was sentenced to life, and in 2004, the Parole Board ordered him to serve out that sentence.

Bevin gave no reason for the pardon.

  • Leif Halvorsen, who was sentenced to death in Fayette County for the murder of three people — Jacqueline Green, Joe Norman and Joey Durham — in 1983.

Bevin commuted Halvorsen's two death sentences to life with the possibility of parole, stating only that “Leif has a powerful voice that needs to be heard by more people.”

  • Kurt Robert Smith, who as a 17-year-old was convicted in 2002 in Fayette County of the murder of his 6-week-old baby, Blake, whose brain was so swollen that the seams between the bones in his skull were pushed half an inch apart, a state medical examiner testified.

Bevin said Smith had been "duly punished" for a crime 18 years ago. "I am confident that he will become a productive member of society and encourage him to use his life experience to educate and help others," Bevin wrote.

  • Daniel Scott Grubb, who was sentenced to life in prison in Knox County in 2010 for the murder of Jeremy Johnson. According to news accounts, Grubb claimed both were drunk when he threw a cinder block at him, and after finding his body the next day, panicked and enlisted a friend to bury the body.

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Bevin wrote that "drugs, alcohol and a tragic accident resulted in the death of one friend perpetrated by another. Daniel Grubb made a series of bad decisions that forever altered the lives of many people in a negative way.”

Bevin said the pardon came with “the expectation that Mr. Grubb will live his life as a model citizen in a way that will bring honor to his family and to the memory of his friend."

Bevin conditioned one pardon — of Michael Hardy, who was convicted in Warren County of the 2014 wanton murder of Jeremy Pryor — on Hardy refraining from any consumption of alcohol and sharing his story “in schools, churches and other gatherings no less than six times per year for at least the next 20 years.”

“I do not believe that society, as a whole, or the memory of Jeremy Pryor more specifically, will be best served by the continued incarceration of Mr. Hardy,” Bevin wrote.

He said he hoped Hardy's pardon would provide “a teachable lesson for others of all ages (but especially young people).”

Correction: Because of incorrect information on the Secretary of State's website, an earlier version of this story misstated Gov. Matt Bevin's actions regarding Leif Halvorsen's sentence. Bevin commuted Halvorsen's two death sentences to life with the possibility of parole.

Andrew Wolfson: 502-582-7189; awolfson@courier-journal.com; Twitter: @adwolfson. Reach reporter Joe Sonka at jsonka@courierjournal.com or 502-582-4472 and follow him on Twitter at @joesonka. Support strong local journalism by subscribing today: courierjournal.com/subscribe.

This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Bevin pardons include convicted killer whose brother hosted campaign fundraiser for him

‘How? How? How?’: Victims’ Families Rage as Matt Bevin Defends Pardons .
The mother was at home preparing cheese sticks and a milkshake when she got the call. On the other line, a prosecutor had surprising news about the man who had been convicted of repeatedly sexually assaulting her child and sentenced last year to 23 years in prison. In one of his last acts in office, the outgoing governor, Matt Bevin, had weighed in on the case. Citing a lack of physical evidence and a “sloppy” investigation, Mr. Bevin issued an unconditional pardon. The convicted man, Micah Schoettle, 41, a close relative of the girl, had walked out of prison earlier that day.

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