Man who killed couple in DUI crash has sentence commuted

Brett Whittaker

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Before leaving the governor’s office, Matt Bevin commuted the 20-year prison sentence of a man who killed a pastor and his wife in a drunk driving crash.

Court records show in 2010, Brett Whittaker, of Pulaski County, killed John and Lavanda Rowland, of Berea, in a head-on drunk driving crash in Lincoln County.

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Whittaker was on probation at the time for an assault in Madison County, according to court records.

The outgoing governor says he commuted Whittaker’s sentence because the inmate transformed his life in prison and is a new man.

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Bobbi McSwine joined the ABC 36 News Team in March 2020. She started as a Web Content Producer in November 2019. She was born and raised in Chicago, IL, known to many as the “Windy City.” She studied journalism at the University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign. While in school, she had a number of internships ranging from Free Spirit Media, ABC 7 Chicago and Illinois Public Media. She fell in love with writing in high school and paired that with a newfound passion for storytelling in college. She misses her hometown, but she loves the horses and rich history in Lexington. When she’s not working, she’s probably listening to music or binge-watching Netflix. She’s always looking to get to know more people in Central Kentucky, so feel free to shoot her a message on Facebook @BobbiWTVQ, follow her on Twitter @McSwineB_News, or send her an email at