Man convicted of murder, but pardoned by Kentucky governor, rearrested

Published 5:42 am Tuesday, June 1, 2021

A Kentucky man who received a controversial pardon from then-Gov. Matt Bevin was rearrested Sunday, The Courier-Journal reported.

Patrick Baker was convicted of killing Donald Mills. Mills’ sister told the paper an agent with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives contacted her Monday to say Baker had been arrested again in connection with her brother’s death.

Baker was booked into the Laurel County Correctional Center in London just after 12:15 a.m. Monday, with the jail log listing his only charge as “federal prisoner held-in transit/court/serveout.” A spokesman with the Federal Bureau of Investigation did not immediately respond to an email Monday asking for more information on the charges.

Bevin issued hundreds of pardons between his electoral defeat in November 2019 and his final day in office a month later. Baker’s pardon was controversial because his relatives had held a fundraiser for the Republican governor in 2018.

After his pardon, Baker appeared at a news conference in Lexington where his attorneys said he was innocent of the 2014 slaying in which he was convicted of posing as a law enforcement officer and killing Mills in the victim’s Knox County home.

“I did not kill Donald Mills and my family did not pay for my release,” Baker said in a statement at the time.

In January 2020, Kentucky’s Republican attorney general asked the FBI to investigate Bevins’ last-minute pardons.

At least one other person helped by Bevin has also been rearrested.

Dayton Jones was a few years into a 15-year sentence for sex crimes when Bevin commuted his convictions. Several months later, Jones was charged by federal prosecutors with producing child pornography.