Bevin commuted death row inmate's sentence on his last day in office

Posted at 4:37 PM, Dec 10, 2019

KENTON COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — In one of the last official acts as governor, Matt Bevin commuted the sentence of a man convicted of murder, rape and robbery in the 1980s.

Gregory Wilson was convicted of kidnapping and killing Deborah Pooley in Kenton County.

Wilson and another woman, Brenda Humphrey, allegedly forced Pooley into the backseat of her car. Then, Wilson raped her and choked her to death.

In commuting Wilson's sentence, former Gov. Bevin wrote that Wilson was involved in a brutal murder by said, "To say his legal defense was inadequate would be the understatement of the year."

Both Wilson and Humphrey were tried together, according to a document from Amnesty International. Wilson was sentenced to death, while Humphrey was sentenced to life in prison.

According to the document, Wilson's first lawyer withdrew from the case in 1987.

"At the trial, Gregory Wilson again asserted that he did not have confidence in the lawyers, to which the judge responded that he had the right to represent himself," the document stated.

The Amnesty International said that key witnesses in the case were not cross-examined.

Wilson is now immediately eligible for parole.