Kentuckian Pardoned by Bevin Indicted for Murder on Federal Charges

Jun 1, 2021

Former Gov. Matt Bevin pardoned Patrick Baker of murder in the waning days of his one term.
Credit Kyeland Jackson

A man pardoned by former Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin is facing a murder charge for a second time. 

Patrick Baker was released from prison in 2018 following his conviction in state court. Now, he’s being charged again, but this time, by federal prosecutors.

A federal grand jury in London, Kentucky, has indicted Baker on charges of murder, committed during a robbery and kidnapping related to drug trafficking.  The indictment accuses him in the 2014 shooting death of Donald Mills, and the theft of oxycodone pills in Knox County. 

Baker was arrested Sunday in Frankfort. 

He was convicted in state court in 2017 of reckless homicide and sentenced to 19 years in prison, but was pardoned two years later by then-Governor Matt Bevin. The pardon was controversial because some members of Baker’s family had held a political fundraiser for Bevin prior to the pardon. 

Bevin called the evidence against Baker “sketchy at best," but the Kentucky Court of Appeals ruled the evidence was "overwhelming." 

According to the indictment, Baker could get the death penalty if convicted of the new federal charges.