Murder victim's family disputes Barbour's CNN comments
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -
Friday, former Govenor Haley Barbour went on CNN and defended his pardon and sentence modification of more than 200 state convicts.
He was asked specifically about the pleas of a Rankin County family to be heard before the pardon of the murderer of their loved one. Barbour says his lawyers met with the family two years before the release. But family members say they didn't know the killer was working at the mansion until a year ago.
"So there would have been no way we could have met with him two years ago. We have had no contact with any of Governor Barbour's people, Governor Barbour, nothing, no one has ever tried to talk to the Ellis family about this," said Tiffany Ellis Brewer, sister of the victim.
July 2, 1993, David Glenn Gatlin killed his wife Tammy Ellis Gatlin while she held their weeks-old child and shot family friend Randy Walker who was with her when Gatlin walked in.
Walker survived being shot in the head.
The mother of Tammy Gatlin says there are victim rights laws and guidelines to protect them, but they are being ignored.
"This is happening to our state. These laws and guidelines are not being followed. And we're just sitting here and letting it continue just because that's the tradition," added Betty Ellis, victim's mother.
Tammy Gatlin's family says they have an issue with former Governor Barbour's characterization that the murders are crimes of passion and they say David Glenn Gatlin is a calculating, cold-blooded killer.
"It would not have mattered if Tammy would have been at my house, my mother's house, whoever. He was going to try get rid of the person there with her to eliminate any witness. So, you know, for him to say it's a crime of passion is wrong," Brewer added.
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