2019-12-13 19:30:23 UTC
Matt Bevin issued 428 pardons before leaving the Governor's office this year
Among the beneficiaries were Patrick Brian Baker, 41, who was sentenced to 19
years in prison for multiple crimes including reckless homicide
Baker's brother hosted a political fundraiser at his home last year, which
raised $21,500 for Bevin's campaign
Other pardons included one for Micah Schoettle, sentenced last year to 23 years
in prison for raping a nine-year-old
Former Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin issued a slew of pardons on his way out of
office including to a convicted killer whose brother raised money for the
Bevin, who lost to Democrat Andy Beshear last month in a close race, issued a
total of 428 pardons since the November 5 election and leaving office this week,
according to the Kentucky Secretary of State's office.
The recipients include a man convicted of raping a nine-year-old and another man
who allegedly murdered his former lover and decapitated her.
Another is Patrick Brian Baker, who was convicted of homicide and other crimes
in a fatal 2014 home break-in in Knox County, the Louisville Courier Journal
Baker's family raised $21,500 at a political fundraiser at their home last year
for Bevin to cover debt from his 2015 campaign for governor.
Additionally, Baker's brother and sister-in-law also gave $4,000 to Bevin's
campaign on the day of the fundraiser, the newspaper reported.
Baker, 41, was sentenced to 19 years in prison for reckless homicide,
impersonating a peace officer, robbery and tampering with evidence. He served
Commonwealth's Attorney Jackie Steele prosecuted Patrick Baker and other
defendants for the 2014 death of Donald Mills.
He told the Courier Journal it would be an 'understatement to say I am
aggrieved' by Bevin's pardon. The other defendants were not pardoned.
Steele added: 'What makes Mr Baker any different than the other two?'
In the pardon order, however, Bevin claimed the evidence against Baker was
'sketchy at best'.
Judge David Williams, who sentenced Baker in 2017, disagreed with Bevin's
He told the Courier Journal that in his 30 years of service: 'Ive never seen a
more compelling or complete case...the evidence was just overwhelming.'
Bevin also pardoned Delmar Partin, who was convicted of murdering his former
lover and stuffing her headless body into a 55-gallon drum at a chemical plant
in Barbourville in 1993 where the two were co-workers.
Partin was serving a life sentence in prison, but defense attorneys argued at
the trial that there was only a five- to 10-minute window of time for Partin to
commit the crime and there was no physical evidence linking him to the death.
Bevin cited the 'inability or unwillingness of the state to use existing DNA
evidence to either affirm or disprove this conviction' in his pardon order
Another pardon came for Micah Schoettle, who was sentenced last year to 23 years
in prison for raping a nine-year-old child in Kenton County, the Courier Journal
Bevin wrote that Schoettle was convicted of a heinous crime 'based only on
testimony that was not supported by any physical evidence.'
He added he does 'not believe that the charges against Mr Schoettle are true.'
Bevin also commuted the death sentence of Greg Wilson, who was convicted in 1987
of the kidnapping, rape and murder of Deborah Pooley in Covington. Her body was
dumped in Indiana and not found for two weeks.
Bevin said in his order that Wilson's legal defense was inadequate and the
'prosecution and defense in this case were, from start to finish, incredibly
Wilson's sentence was reduced to life with the possibility of parole after
serving a minimum of 30 years.
'It's a sad day for Kentucky, not just in the Micah Schoettle case, but in a
number of different rape cases, child molesting cases, murder cases where the
victims have all been done a grave injustice by our former governor,' Rob
Sanders, Kenton County Commonwealth's Attorney, told the Courier Journal.
'It's mindboggling how any governor could be this irresponsible. It's an
abomination of the criminal justice system.'