BARBOUR PARDONS: 21 Miss. inmates in limbo

By Emily Wagster Pettus/The Associated Press


JACKSON — Twenty-one inmates who received pardons or other reprieves from former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour remain in custody until a court battle is resolved over whether Barbour properly handled their orders to go free.

According to Mississippi Department of Corrections records obtained by The Associated Press:

— Three of the 21 were convicted of murder. Two of those received full pardons, and one received a medical release.

— One was convicted of accessory-after-the-fact to murder, and received a full pardon.

— Three were convicted of manslaughter, with one receiving conditional clemency, one receiving a medical suspension and one receiving a conditional indefinite suspension of sentence.

— One was convicted of DUI homicide and received a suspended sentence.

Before ending his second term Tuesday, Republican Barbour gave full pardons to about 200 people. He suspended sentences for several other inmates, gave medical release to some and gave conditional clemency to one.

Barbour issued a statement Wednesday saying about 90 percent of the people he pardoned or gave clemency were no longer in custody.

Five inmates who had worked as trusties in the Governor’s Mansion were released this past Sunday. Four of them were convicted of killing people, and one was convicted of burglary.

At the request of Attorney General Jim Hood, Hinds County Circuit Judge Tomie Green issued an order late Wednesday to keep 21 inmates in custody to determine if requirements were met for release.

The Mississippi Constitution says any inmate seeking a pardon must publish a public notice of that he is seeking it. Before a pardon can be granted, the notice must appear for 30 days in a newspaper in or near the county where the inmate was convicted.

Green ordered that the 21 inmates remain in custody until the Mississippi Department of Corrections provides proof that constitutional requirements were met.

These 21 inmates are held by that court order:

— Nichelle Elaine Brandon, aggravated assault. Medical suspension of sentence; under supervision of MDOC intensive supervision program (house arrest).

— Aaron Brown, murder, concealed weapon, possession of a controlled substance. Full, complete and unconditional pardon.

— Jesse Buie, felony DUI. Medical/conditional suspension of sentence.

— Melissa Ann Cooper, sale of controlled substance. Medical/conditional suspension of sentence.

— John Davis, robbery. Medical/conditional suspension of sentence.

— Derrick Lynn Guyton (or Guiton), homicide/murder; simple assault. Medical/conditional suspension of sentence. MDOC records spell his last name Guyton. A record of his conditional suspension of sentence, filed in the secretary of state’s office, spells it Guiton.

— Travis Orlando Hill, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. Medical suspension of sentence; under supervision of MDOC intensive supervision program (house arrest).

— Joshua L. Howard, statutory rape. Full, complete and unconditional pardon.

— Karen Irby, two counts of manslaughter. Conditional clemency that she serves three years in MDOC intensive supervision (house arrest) and an additional two years under MDOC community corrections division.

— Twanda (or Tawanda) Jackson, manslaughter, armed robbery and kidnapping. Medical suspension of sentence; under supervision of MDOC intensive supervision program (house arrest). MDOC records spell her first name Twanda. A record of her suspension of sentence, filed in the secretary of state’s office, spells it Tawanda.

— Azikwe Kambule, accessory after the fact to murder. Full, complete and unconditional pardon.

— Rheon McShepard, homicide or murder. Medical/conditional suspension of sentence.

— Johnny Lee Nettles, aggravated assault. Medical/conditional suspension of sentence.

— Annie Pearl Rash, uttering forgery. Medical/conditional suspension of sentence.

— Katherine Robertson, aggravated assault. Full, complete and unconditional pardon.

— Patricia L. Simpson, manslaughter. Conditional indefinite suspension of sentence.

— Danny Joe Stapleton, possession of controlled substance with intent. Medical/conditional suspension of sentence.

— Kevin Bradley Tabereaux, sale of cocaine, DUI homicide. Suspension of sentence.

— Kirby Glenn Tate, possession of marijuana with intent, possession of oxycodone, delivery of marijuana. Full, complete and unconditional pardon.

— Curtis Thomas, statutory rape. Medical/conditional suspension of sentence.

— Edith Watts, delivery of a controlled substance. Medical/conditional suspension of sentence.

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Pardoned man may not have met notice requirement
By Holbrook Mohr/The Associated Pres

JACKSON — At least one of the convicted murderers recently released from prison after a pardon from former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour may not have met his legal requirement to publish a notice that he was seeking a reprieve.

Jack Ryan, editor of the Enterprise-Journal in McComb, said Mississippi Department of Corrections officials sent a legal notice for Anthony McCray to run in the newspaper beginning Dec. 12, but it never appeared because payment was never received.

McCray was one of five inmates who worked as trusties at the Governor’s Mansion and were released Sunday after Barbour pardoned them. Barbour pardoned or granted early release to about 200 people in his final days if office, though most had already served their sentences.

McCray was convicted in 2001 of killing his wife.

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