- - Monday, January 9, 2012


Governor pardons four killers, robber

JACKSON — Outgoing Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour has pardoned four convicted murderers who worked as inmate trusties at the Governor’s Mansion.

Relatives of three of the victims told the Associated Press that corrections officials notified them Saturday.

Mr. Barbour’s office hasn’t responded to numerous messages. Mr. Barbour, a Republican, leaves office Tuesday.

Copies of the pardons filed with the Mississippi Secretary of State’s office were released Monday. They show how Mr. Barbour pardoned five men, the convicted killers and a man serving life for robbery.

State records show the pardoned inmates are David Gatlin, convicted of killing his estranged wife in 1993; Joseph Ozment, convicted in 1994 of killing a man during a robbery; Anthony McCray, convicted in 2001 of killing his wife; Charles Hooker, sentenced to life in 1992 for murder; and Nathan Kern, sentenced to life in 1982 for burglary after serving time for at least two prior convictions.


Charity accused by U.S. of Hamas ties disbands

TOLEDO — A charity that the government suspected of having ties to the militant Islamic group Hamas has shut down but is still negotiating a settlement with the U.S. Department of the Treasury over its frozen assets.

The filing made last week comes nearly six years after the Treasury Department essentially closed the charity’s operation when it ordered U.S. banks to freeze the group’s assets, saying it was funneling money to a terrorist organization.

The leaders of KindHearts for Charitable Humanitarian Development in Toledo denied being connected to any terrorist group and sued the government after it refused to say why the charity’s money was frozen.

The two sides are working to finalize a settlement after reaching a preliminary agreement, according to court filings in the past few months. The government expects a deal to be completed by early July.

A federal judge sided with the charity in 2009, ruling that the government violated the Constitution because it did not tell the organization why it was freezing its assets or give it a chance to respond. The judge later told the government to halt the investigation because its actions could cause KindHearts to lose its attorneys and harm its reputation.


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