LEXINGTON, Ky. (WDKY) – A man pardoned of reckless homicide is defending his pardon.
In 2017, Patrick Baker was sent to prison for reckless homicide, robbery, impersonating a peace officer, and tampering with physical evidence. He’s now a free man after serving two years of a 19-year sentence.
Former Governor Matt Bevin, R-Kentucky, pardoned Baker in his final days in office.
“I am grateful for the courageous actions of Governor Bevin,” said Baker. “After being presented with evidence of my innocence and allegations of misconduct against the police officers in my case, he gave me a chance to have my life back. I hope that the true killer of Donald Mills is ultimately apprehended and that the Mills’ family gets closure in the end by having the right person in prison.”
A photo from the Corbin News Journal shows Bevin at the home of Eric Baker, Patrick’s brother, in July of 2018.
“I did not kill Donald Mills, and my family did not pay for my release,” said Baker.
“Over the past week, relatives of Patrick Baker have been unfairly attacked and accused of ‘paying’ for a pardon. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is a fundamental right for citizens to freely support politicians they believe in. The Bakers’ support of Gov. Bevin’s reelection campaign is conducted openly and is neither illegal nor unethical. Above all else, it was unrelated to Patrick’s wrongful conviction,” said Elliot Slosar of Loevy & Loevy Attorneys at Law, who represents Mr. Baker.
Lawmakers also want a special prosecutor to clarify a contradiction between a statement from Bevin and the sentencing judge in Baker’s case.
In the pardon, Gov. Bevin called the evidence against Baker “sketchy at best.” But sentencing Circuit Judge David Williams said in 30 years of practice, “I’ve never seen a more compelling or complete case… the evidence was just overwhelming.”
Lawmakers also say it’s interesting that the others charged in connection to Mill’s death are still in prison.
Baker, his family, and his attorneys are expected to talk to reporters on Tuesday.