Man pardoned by ex-Kentucky gov. convicted of strangulation

Posted at 5:17 PM, December 2, 2022 and last updated 3:06 PM, July 7, 2023

COVINGTON, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky man has been convicted of strangulation and domestic violence, three years after he was one of hundreds pardoned during former Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin’s last days in office.

Joheim Bandy (Kenton County Detention Center)

Joheim Bandy, 20, was found guilty by a jury in Kenton County this week, The Kentucky Enquirer reported. Since his 2019 pardon, Bandy has been charged in three separate strangulation cases, the newspaper reported.

Bandy was 15 when he was given a 13-year prison sentence for robbery and assault, according to court documents. He had served two years of that sentence when he was fully pardoned by Bevin.

Bevin wrote in the document that Bandy is “turning his life around,” and “I am confident that he will do great things with his life.” The Republican issued hundreds of pardons following his failed reelection bid, attracting criticism from lawmakers, prosecutors and victims who were outraged that violent felons were being released.

“The pardon (Bandy) received was shockingly irresponsible and it nearly cost a 22-year-old mother her life,” Kenton Commonwealth’s Attorney Rob Sanders said.

In the strangulation case, a victim identified in court documents as the mother of Bandy’s child, told Covington police officers Bandy “pinned her against the wall, placing his hands around her neck, and restricting her ability to breathe.”

Sanders said another trial for Bandy is scheduled to begin in February.

Patrick Baker, another man pardoned by Bevin, was sentenced earlier this year to 42 years in federal prison for a 2014 drug robbery killing, the same crime he was pardoned for. That pardon had drawn particular scrutiny after media reports revealed that Baker’s family had political connections to Bevin and hosted a fundraiser for the former governor. Baker was convicted of murder last year in a federal trial.