pardons

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. 

U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Kentucky

A federal prosecutor in Kentucky says, if warranted, his office is prepared to prosecute those convicted in state court who received pardons from former Governor Matt Bevin.

U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman says if the crimes took place in the Western District of Kentucky, they will be treated like any other violation of federal law.  Once the findings of the investigation are presented to his office, Coleman says he’ll consider the statute of limitations, double jeopardy, and evidentiary requirements to determine whether the cases meet federal standards for prosecution. 

“The uniqueness of a situation of federal prosecution following a state executive pardon will, however, require ultimate approval by the highest levels at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.," Coleman said in a statement.

Kyeland Jackson

Kentucky’s new Republican Attorney General Daniel Cameron has asked the FBI to investigate controversial pardons issued by former Gov. Matt Bevin at the end of his term.

Bevin issued pardons and commutations to more than 650 people during his final weeks in office. Most of those actions were fairly routine — low-level drug offenders who had turned their lives around or cases widely thought to be miscarriages of justice.

But some of the pardons drew controversy, especially the pardon of a Kenton County man convicted of child rape and that of a Knox County man convicted of murder whose family later held a fundraiser for Bevin.

 


Kyeland Jackson

Former Gov. Matt Bevin defended his last-minute pardon of a man convicted of repeatedly raping a nine-year-old during a radio interview on Thursday.

Bevin claimed that there was no physical evidence of the victim’s abuse because her hymen was still intact, echoing a myth that examining the small vaginal tissue can prove sexual activity, including rape.

On his last day in office, Bevin pardoned Micah Schoettle of Kenton County for rape, sodomy, incest and other offenses after serving 19 months of a 23-year sentence.

 


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Gov. Matt Bevin issued his first-ever slate of pardons Monday, citing “unique circumstances” that warranted gubernatorial forgiveness for 10 Kentuckians.

Those pardoned were convicted of crimes including drug offenses, sexual misconduct and reckless homicide. Bevin said he was prompted by Independence Day to issue the orders.

“It is an appropriate time to use the authority vested in my office to grant a fresh start at independence and liberty for several individuals who have lost both due to their previous criminal behavior,” Bevin said.