By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal
PONTOTOC – An Oxford man pardoned by Gov. Haley Barbour as he exited office early this year stands indicted on three counts in the 2011 highway death of 18-year-old Charity Smith.
Harry Russ Bostick, 55, turned himself in to Pontotoc authorities Friday and is free on $50,00 bond.
He’ll be arraigned May 24 when formal charges will be read against him.
On May 10, a Pontotoc County grand jury indicted Bostick, a former IRS agent, on charges of driving under the influence, leaving the scene of an accident and DUI-death.
The indictment claims that on Oct. 7, 2011, Bostick drove a motor vehicle while intoxicated and caused the death of Smith as she drove her vehicle on U.S. Highway 278. Smith was killed and her sister seriously injured in the accident.
If convicted on all three charges, Bostick faces enough prison time to make his punishment a virtual life sentence.
Last January, just before Barbour went out of office, he issued pardons, clemencies and other leniency for more than 200 people. Among them was Bostick, who was under arrest for violating his probation from a DUI-3rd charge, although Barbour and his spokesmen said they didn’t know it.
Before Smith’s death, Bostick had three DUI arrests and was going through a court-mandated drug rehab program. With three DUIs, he faced possible imprisonment. But Barbour’s pardon erased that third DUI, which removed Bostick’s jail jeopardy.
The pardons caused a nationwide media furor, especially because Barbour is a top Republican Party strategist who flirted for a time with a presidential bid.
When Barbour pardoned Bostick, he was in the Lafayette County Detention Center on the alcohol-related charge from the Smith accident.
His three-count indictment states his case will be on the docket for the July term of circuit court.