A Kentucky man pardoned by the state’s former governor in a homicide case was convicted in federal court and sentenced to nearly 40 years in prison for killing a man inside his home during a robbery, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Patrick Baker was sentenced to 42 years in prison by U.S. District Judge Claria Horn Boom. Boom, however, gave Baker credit for the 30 months that he already served in state prison before he was pardoned. 

In London, Ky., federal court he was also ordered to pay $7,500 in restitution for funeral expenses for victim Donald Mills.


Baker was convicted of shooting and killing Mills in 2014 during a failed robbery attempt. Baker and an accomplice reportedly intended to rob Mills, who dealt pain pills in Knox County, of drugs and money.

One man shot Mills in the chest, who soon bled to death, while the other held back his pregnant wife, two sons and friend.

Boom told Baker at trial that the crime was especially heinous because you took a mans life and kept his family hostage, according to the Herald-Leader. 

The prosecutor on the case, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jenna Reed, sought a life sentence for Baker, emphasizing that he continued with the crime after seeing a small child in the house. 

He did not have to rob and murder Donald Mills, Reed said. Donald Mills did not have to be gunned down in front of his family.

An attorney for Baker, Patrick J. Renn, asked Boom to give Mr. Baker some hope.

Baker was previously sentenced to 19 years in prison for reckless homicide, robbery, impersonating a police officer and tampering with evidence in 2017. At the time, the Kentucky Court of Appeals said that there can be no doubt, on review of the proof as a whole, evidence of Bakers guilt was overwhelming.

Then-Gov. Matt Bevin (R) pardoned Baker in 2019, claiming that the evidence of his crime was sketchy at best.

However, the pardon stirred accusations of corruption from state Democrats after information surfaced that Baker’s brother and sister-in-law had held a fundraiser for Bevin in 2018 and raised more than $21,000, according to the outlet. 

Critics argued that politics motivated Bevin to commute Baker’s sentence and pardon him. 

The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives opened a new federal investigation of Baker in response to these questions, where he was again indicted on allegations of murder and committing a drug crime, according to the Herald-Leader.