Ex-Kentucky GOP gov under investigation for pardoning convicted killer whose family hosted a fundraiser for him
Kentucky Republican Governor Matt Bevin speaking at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Photo by Gage Skidmore.

A major bombshell in Kentucky politics occurred in 2019 when Republican then-Gov. Matt Bevin was voted out of office and Democrat Andy Beshear narrowly defeated him. Bevin still has plenty of critics, even in the GOP. And Kentucky's former governor, journalist Andrew Wolfson reports in the Louisville Courier Journal, presently finds himself being scrutinized for the gubernatorial pardon he gave convicted killer Patrick Baker — whose family hosted a fundraiser for him.

Wolfson reports, "Assistant U.S. Attorney Jenna Reed told a federal judge, during a hearing June 22, her office is conducting an 'ongoing investigation' of Bevin's pardon of Patrick Baker, whose family hosted a fundraiser at their home in Corbin that raised $21,500 to retire the debt from Bevin's 2015 campaign."

In 2017, a jury convicted Baker of reckless homicide in the death of a drug dealer who was shot in the chest during an attempt to rob him of money and pain pills.

Wolfson notes that although Bevin has "adamantly denied he pardoned Baker because of the fundraiser hosted by Baker's brother Eric and his wife," the "revelations show the former governor still faces possible criminal liability."

According to Wolfson, "At the June 22 hearing, FBI Task Force Officer Mark Mefford testified he and other investigators interviewed Baker's ex-girlfriend Dawn Turner last December 28 about the fundraiser."

Kentucky is a deep red state, and the fact that Democrat Beshear was able to win 2019's gubernatorial race and defeat Bevin — even if it was only by less than 1%— was a political shocker.