Docs Show Murderers Got Special Treatment From Governor, Wife
Investigative documents obtained by CNN show that former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, his wife and his staff may have given preferential treatment to two of the convicted murderers who were among the more than 200 former and current inmates he pardoned in January.
According to the documents compiled by the office of Mississippi’s attorney general, the state’s former first lady, Marsha Barbour, apparently called a car dealership regarding the purchase of two vehicles for two convicted murderers — days before they were pardoned. The cars were later delivered to the governor’s mansion, two days before the men were released.
CNN has also learned that a member of the governor’s staff took the same two men, David Gatlin and Charles Hooker, to get their driver’s licenses while they were still in state custody, before their pardons were signed and made official.
“Yes, that’s true … I did take some of them,” said Barbour’s former security chief, Wayland Adams. “I knew that they were going to be paroled. I was assured of that and I just took them to get their driver’s licenses.
“I thought that if I went ahead to get them a driver’s license it would speed things up on getting them a job. And that was the only reason. I was just trying to help them.”
Adams, who retired as security director of the Mississippi governor’s mansion when Barbour left office in January, told CNN the former Mississippi governor did not ask him to take Gatlin and Hooker to get their licenses.
“No, I assume full responsibility for it,” he said.
Adams admitted his actions were a bit unusual.
State law enforcement experts and legal experts told CNN that while this would be considered preferential treatment for any inmate, no state laws were violated.
“Unless a person has had his or her license revoked … they are not prohibited from acquiring or renewing a driver’s license while incarcerated as long as they had domicile in the state prior to imprisonment,” according to a written statement from Mississippi Department of Public Safety spokesman Master Sgt. Johnny Poulos.
Poulos said his department was not aware of any directive from Barbour to provide licenses to the men.