JEFFERSON CITY – Gov. Jay Nixon today announced he has granted pardons to 18 individuals and commuted the sentence of an additional person to make him eligible for parole. During his two terms in office, the Governor has granted 106 pardons and commuted the sentences of four incarcerated offenders, for a total of 110 acts of clemency.
Among those granted pardons today are 16 members of the clergy who in May 2014 were arrested as they protested in favor of Medicaid expansion in the gallery of the Missouri Senate. A total of 23 clergy members were arrested on May 6, 2014; 22 were prosecuted and found guilty of misdemeanor trespass in Cole County Circuit Court in August 2016. Sixteen of the 22 clergy members who were found guilty petitioned the Governor for clemency, while the six others who were found guilty of trespass have stated they want the convictions to stay on their records.
Those granted pardons today after being found guilty of misdemeanor trespass for the May 2014 protest in the Missouri Senate are: John Bennett, Tony Caldwell, Chaunia Chandler, William (W.T.) Edmondson, Dawn Hickman, Steve Houpe, Vernon Howard Jr., Tony Johnson, Karlous Kalu, David Kingsley, Sam Mann, Donna McDaniel, Kenneth Mosley, Tex Sample, James Tindall and Rodney Williams.
Gov. Nixon also granted pardons to two individuals who each completed their sentences and became law abiding citizens.
n William Corum, who was discharged early from a five-year term of probation for second degree assault in 1984 in Johnson County. Corum has been active for three decades in prison ministry and speaks around the country about the dangers of drugs and alcohol.
n Robin Williams-Howland, who was discharged early from a 10-year sentence after pleading guilty to possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and distribution of a controlled substance in 2004 in Marion County. Howland, who works for a manufacturing company, is a recognized leader in the local sobriety community and sponsors many people working to overcome substance abuse issues.
The Governor also commuted the sentence of the following individual to make him eligible for parole, which would be considered by the Missouri Board of Probation and Parole:
n Jordan Nichols, who was found guilty of four counts of distributing a controlled substance near a school in Saline County in 2012. Nichols was found to be selling marijuana on the campus of Missouri Valley College while he attended the institution.
These are the final acts of clemency Gov. Nixon will issue before leaving office on Monday, Jan. 9.