Man let out of prison by Bevin pleads guilty in child porn case

27-year old Dayton Jones, of Hopkinsville, faces up to 10-years in prison as part of his federal plea deal
Dayton Jones
Dayton Jones
Dayton Jones pleads guilty in federal court 10-20-21 in child porn case that he pleaded guilty to in state court in 2016 but had his 15-year sentence commuted by then-Gov. Matt Bevin in 2019 right before leaving office

 

HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ) – A Hopkinsville man who pleaded guilty in state court in 2016 in a sex crimes case involving a teenage boy, whose sentenced was commuted by then-Gov. Matt Bevin before leaving office in 2019, pleaded guilty Wednesday to a federal charge stemming from the case, according to court documents.

Dayton Jones admitted he took part in the sexual abuse of a 15-year old boy who had passed out at a party, made a video of the incident and posted it to a social media site, according to court documents.  He was sentenced to 15-years in prison, but was freed by Bevin after serving three years, according to court records.

Bevin said at the time there wasn’t any evidence Jones was guilty and let him out of prison.

Federal authorities began an investigation of the same alleged crime Jones pleaded guilty to in state court.  Jones was federally indicted in June of last year, but on a different charge than his state case, according to court records.  That led up to Wednesday’s guilty plea.

Jones’ plea deal in his federal case calls for a 10-year sentence.

This case is similar to another controversial pardon from Bevin before he left office.  Patrick Baker was convicted in state court of reckless homicide and other charges in connection to the shooting death of a drug dealer during a robbery in Knox County.  Baker had served two years of a 19-year sentence when Bevin let him out of prison.  The federal government retried Baker for the crime Bevin pardoned, which is permitted under U.S. Justice Department rules to correct an injustice or corrupt result.

This past August, Baker was found guilty in federal court.  Experts say it was the first federal trial of a defendant pardoned by a governor.  Baker is scheduled to be sentenced December 21, 2021.  He faces up to life in prison.

 

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