SHREVEPORT, LA – As Governor John Bel Edwards prepares to leave office, he has gotten out his pen to sign some very important pieces of business. The Governor has signed off on pardons or commutations of sentences for dozens of criminals.

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KEEL News requested a list of the inmates granted a pardon or commutation of sentence by Edwards during his final 3 months in office. This list goes through December 13. We don’t know yet if the Governor will sign off on any more just yet. But we will be checking.

The list of criminals granted pardons or commutations of sentences includes 34 convicted killers. Several others now on the path to freedom include several habitual offenders.

About a dozen of these cases are from Orleans or Jefferson Parish. 7 of the inmates were convicted of crimes in the Baton Rouge area. There are many others from Monroe, Lake Charles and other parts of the state.

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What Inmates from Caddo and Bossier Got Help From Governor?

3 criminals convicted in Caddo Parish will soon be able to be released from jail. The governor has agreed to pardon or commute the sentences of these men:

John Vincent Spano

He was convicted of second degree battery for striking his attorney in court and rendering him unconscious. Spano was tried as a fourth felony habitual offender and sentenced to life in prison for the attack on attorney Rickey Swift. A rape charge he was also facing was dismissed at the time of this incident.

Carl Carnuious Ruffins

Ruffins was convicted of second degree murder for the 1998 killing murder of Donald “DJ” Reed on Orla Street in Shreveport.

Ricky Washington

Washington was convicted of first degree murder for the 1979 killing of Grady Haynes who was the owner of the YQ Grocery in the MLK neighborhood in Shreveport. He was shot to death while working behind the counter of his store.

Here's the Full List of Inmates Getting a Pardon or Commutation Since October 1:

DOC #NameDate SignedParish of ConvictionOffense
445010David Allen Tullier, Jr.10/11/2023TangipahoaPossession of Scheduled II - Methamphetamine
396981Timothy Jason Wilkinson10/11/2023East Baton RougeTheft, 7 Counts of First Degree Robbery
477041Dawn Danielle Bennett10/27/2023LivingstonSecond Degree Murder, Armed Robbery
109766Merritt John Dykstra, Jr.10/27/2023IberiaSecond Degree Murder
290866Herbert James Fuselier10/27/2023CalcasieuSecond Degree Murder
95713Marion Francis Gowan10/27/2023Ouachita; West FelicianaSecond Degree Murder; Simple Escape Type 1
122646Cleveland Harris, III10/27/2023OrleansFirst Degree Robbery
86391Anthony Riggins10/27/2023JeffersonFirst Degree Murder
320689Noble Robinson, Jr.10/27/2023AcadiaSecond Degree Murder
101469Jack David Segura10/27/2023Iberia; St. MartinSecond Degree Murder; Simple Escape Type 1
367260John Vincent Spano10/27/2023CaddoSecond Degree Battery
541088Louis Milton Taylor10/27/2023OrleansAttempted Second Degree Murder, PWID Heroin
109763Venson Dean Vampran10/27/2023St. TammanySecond Degree Murder
94517Jimmy Allen Vidrine10/27/2023EvangelineSecond Degree Murder
103702George Woodcock, Jr.10/27/2023OrleansFirst Degree Battery
196678Creighton Lee Wuneberger10/27/2023JeffesronHabitual - Armed Robbery
119887Leroy Brown, Jr.11/16/2023OuachitaAggravated Kidnapping, Armed Robbery
124959Herbert Butler11/16/2023East Baton RougeSecond Degree Murder
174475Roy Joseph Dickerson11/16/2023JeffersonHabitual - Aggravated Arson
320720Nathaniel Wayne Gibson, Jr.11/16/2023OrleansHabitual - Attempted Second Degree Murder
130305Jeffrey Hawkins11/16/2023OrleansSecond Degree Murder
319221Jeffery Dale Hilburn11/16/2023RichlandSecond Degree Murder
127490Van Douglas Hudson11/16/2023JeffersonSecond Degree Murder
119762Gregory Allen Johnson11/16/2023JeffersonSecond Degree Murder
400310Dana Glenn Miles11/16/2023East Baton RougeSecond Degree Murder
98494George Moore, III11/16/2023MadisonFirst Degree Murder
446422Jake Michael Ortego11/16/2023East Baton RougeSecond Degree Murder
129821Frank Michael Shulark11/16/2023RapidesSecond Degree Murder
271051Connie Laron Sledge11/16/2023JacksonSecond Degree Murder
300641Neal Spencer, Jr.11/16/2023Jefferson DavisSecond Degree Murder
337546Steve E. Stewart11/16/2023St. John The BaptistSecond Degree Murder
85247Danny Melvin Young11/16/2023TerrebonneFirst Degree Murder
132331Isiah Jones, Jr.12/13/2023IbervilleSecond Degree Murder
106338Nathan Edward Arnold12/13/2023LafayetteSecond Degree Murder
75309David Wade Foy12/13/2023CalcasieuMurder
108541Keith Elmon Messiah12/13/2023OrleansFirst Degree Murder
334954Christopher William Picard12/13/2023St. TammanySecond Degree Murder
412788Carl Carnuious Ruffins12/13/2023CaddoSecond Degree Murder
96617Ricky Washington12/13/2023CaddoFirst Degree Murder
389304Donovan Randal Johnson12/13/2023East Baton RougeSecond Degree Murder
306435Darrell Sterling12/13/2023CalcasieuSecond Degree Murder
353750Danny Ray Lee12/13/2023St. MarySecond Degree Murder
110818Robert Lee Whitaker, Jr.12/13/2023East Baton RougeSecond Degree Murder
98335Robert Earl Lewis, Jr.12/13/2023St. TammanyHabitual - First Degree Robbery


Death Row Inmates from Northwest Louisiana

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