LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Departing Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin denounced the “highly offensive and entirely false” reports that financial or political considerations played a part in his pardon decision-making in a blast of 20 tweets late Friday afternoon.
And he endorsed the methodology behind his 11th-hour flurry of pardons, tweeting that his decisions occurred after he examined hundreds of pages of court records and spent hundreds of hours reading applications and files.
“Each case had its own set of facts, evidence, lack of evidence, supporting documents, reasons and unique details, most of which the arm-chair critics are not aware of,” he stated.
“Am I perfect? No… Never have been… But I did my very best, over many hours, days, weeks and years, to reach fair and just decisions.”
The more than 400 pardons and commutations, circulated after his loss in November to Democrat Andy Beshear, included low-level drug offenders, as well as a child rapist who was convicted of raping a 9-year-old in Kenton County, another person who hired a hit man to kill his business partner, a man who killed his parents and a man who beheaded a woman before stuffing her in a barrel.
Earlier Friday, two Democratic lawmakers called on Attorney General-elect Daniel Cameron to designate an independent special prosecutor to investigate possible criminal wrongdoing involving Bevin’s pardon of Patrick Brian Baker.
Baker, convicted of homicide and sentenced to 19 years in 2017 for his involvement in the killing of Donald Mills during a Knox County home invasion and robbery, was pardoned by Bevin after Baker’s family members hosted a political fundraiser for Bevin and made political donations.
As The Courier-Journal first reported, Baker’s brother and sister-in-law hosted Bevin at their Corbin, Ky. home last year, netting $21,500 for Bevin to retire debt from his 2015 gubernatorial campaign, including $5,000 from the family.