Pardons

The Arkansas Parole Board has issued its monthly recommendations for pardons and sentence commutations.

South Arkansas people receiving “With Merit” recommendations for pardons, listed by county:

COLUMBIA

Antwyne Hunter, battery second degree.

South Arkansas people receiving “With Merit” recommendations for commutations, listed by county:

LAFAYETTE

Jerry Sims, murder first degree. Sims received a similar recommendation in May. Sims, 65, was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. He’s been in the Arkansas Department of Correction since December 14, 1984.

Sims was 28 when a Lafayette County jury found him guilty in the shooting death of Curtis Cole.

According to a document that was part of his 1985 appeal -- which was rejected by the Arkansas Supreme Court -- Cole had asked Sims to stop bothering a woman inside Cole’s nightclub in Stamps. Sims left and came back, dressed in camouflage clothing.

“Two witnesses testified that after a verbal exchange between Sims and Cole, Sims fired two shots at Cole. Cole fired some shots as he was falling. Both witnesses agreed that Sims fired first that that once Cole was down, Sims stood over him and fired a shot into Cole’s chest. The medical examiner testified that this was the fatal shot,” the document said.

“Although two other witnesses said that Cole struck Sims with his gun before the shooting, neither could say who fired the first shot. The jury resolved the conflicting accounts and found Sims guilty,” the document said.

Sims is incarcerated in the Cummins Unit at Grady.

South Arkansas people receiving “Without Merit” recommendations for commutations, listed by county:

ASHLEY

Iba Aiken, possession of controlled substance-meth, habitual offender, possession of drug paraphernalia, delivery of meth.

Freddie Hendrix, murder first degree. Hendrix received a similar recommendation in August. Hendrix was convicted in the June 1980 murder of Vera Rhoden, who was beaten to death with a hammer during a burglary and robbery at her home.

LITTLE RIVER

Richard Broyles, murder first degree

HEMPSTEAD

Antoine Easter, possession of controlled substance-meth or cocaine, possession with purpose of delivery of controlled substance, delivery of meth or cocaine, maintaining a drug premises, possession of a firearm by certain persons, possession of drug paraphernalia, habitual offender.

Andrew Wiseman, rape.

CLEVELAND

Michael Harbrow, rape.

NEVADA/HEMPSTEAD

Harold Latin, aggravated assault, habitual offender, possession of a firearm by certain persons, possession of controlled substance-meth/cocaine.

OUACHITA

Tony Pace, aggravated assault, criminal attempted murder, habitual offender, possession of firearm by certain persons.

Willie Porchia, manufacture, delivery and possession of a controlled substance, distribution near certain facilities.

In Arkansas, the Parole Board has the authority to assist the governor in exercising his authority to grant pardons and commutations.

A commutation is a reduction in a sentence imposed by a court. It may mean either a lesser term of imprisonment, or reduces a sentence to time served.

A pardon is an act of forgiveness issued by the governor for a crime that has been committed. It may be issued to people either in or out of prison.

Commutation or pardon requests deemed by the Parole Board as “With Merit” are formal recommendations to the governor in favor of the request. “Without Merit” recommendations indicate that the board does not approve of the inmate or parolee’s request. The governor has the authority to accept or reject either Parole Board recommendation.

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