(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HILL NEWS)
Former Kentucky governor pardoned convicted killer whose brother hosted campaign fundraiser: report
Former Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) reportedly ended his term in office with hundreds of pardons, including one for a man convicted of reckless homicide whose brother hosted a fundraiser for Bevin’s campaign.
According to the Courier-Journal in Louisville, Bevin made hundreds of pardons before leaving office this week, one of which involved Patrick Brian Baker, who was convicted for the 2014 home invasion death of a man in front of his wife and three children.
In a statement to the newspaper, Bevin called the evidence against Baker “sketchy at best,” adding: “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.”
The Courier-Journal noted that Baker’s brother, Eric Baker, hosted a fundraiser for Bevin that raised $21,500 last year to help clear Bevin’s debt from the governor’s 2015 campaign. Eric Baker and his wife also gave $4,000 to Bevin’s campaign on the day they of the fundraiser, according to the newspaper, which cited state election finance data.
One state’s attorney involved in the prosecution of Patrick Brian Baker told the Courier-Journal that Bevin had given prosecutors no warning of his plans.
“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,” the attorney told the Courier-Journal.
Gov. Andy Beshear (D), who narrowly defeated Bevin last month, took office on Tuesday.
Updated at 10:02 a.m.