Prosecutor weighs in on Bevin’s pardons

Reaction continues to pour in following Bevin pardons

PULASKI COUNTY, Ky. (WAVE) - There is still shock, disappointment, and anger from many across the state after former Governor Matt Bevin pardoned hundreds of inmates including murderers, a child rapist, and dozens of other violent offenders right before he left office.

Over the last few days we've heard from people critical of Bevin's decisions including victims, their families, along with police and prosecutors.

Pulaski County Commonwealth’s Attorney Eddy Montgomery prosecuted Brett Dustin Whittaker, who pleaded guilty to two counts of murder.

He drove drunk in 2010 and killed Berea pastor John Rowland and his wife Lavada in Lincoln County. He served just over 8 years in prison.

Whittaker was pardoned on not only the murder convictions, but a previous assault second conviction.

Montgomery said while it's frustrating for him, he feels like he's letting the family down knowing Whittaker is now a free man.

“This was a plea deal, he took 20 years,” Montgomery said. “We told the family he would serve 17 years. Out of 20,000 people, I’d like to know how his name was pulled out of the hat."

In Bevin’s Executive Order it stated Whittaker was a new man who had ‘utilized the last nine years in prison to transform his life, spiritually, emotionally and psychologically'.

Montgomery said in the future, he hopes laws are amended so governors don’t have the power to pardon violent offenders like Whittaker. He wants the legislature to take a serious look at it.

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