Family of murder victim says Barbour did not acknowledge their concerns
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -
Former Governor Haley Barbour appeared on CNN's program, John King, USA Friday to defend his stance on pardoning or modifying the sentences of more than 200 state convicts. Referring to the family of the victim of one of the murderers he pardoned Barbour said: "That particular family actually came and met with my lawyers two years ago".
A claim disputed by the family.
"I mean, we've had nothing from Haley Barbour or any of his people, you know, that's...I mean it's just a false statement, it's untrue," said Tiffany Ellis Brewer, sister of the victim.
July 2, 1993, David Glenn Gatlin walked into the trailer where his estranged wife, Tammy, lived. Gatlin shot her in the head as she held their weeks-old child.
Family friend, Randy Walker, survived a gunshot wound to the head.
Gatlin was serving a life sentence for murder and a 20-year sentence for aggravated assault when he was pardoned after serving as a trusty at the governor's mansion.
The dead woman's mother says her victim's rights have been violated. Governor Barbour defended his action saying it traditional to pardon inmates who serve at the mansion.
"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, mother of the victim.
The family says they've gone to great lengths to talk with Barbour while he was still governor and before Gatlin was pardoned.
"We tried to get in touch with him. We actually have gone to the Governor's mansion to try to speak with him and, you know, we weren't acknowledged," Ellis-Brewer added.
Some of the pardons have been put on hold by a Hinds County Circuit Judge.
A hearing is scheduled Friday to hear additional arguments.
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