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‘We were satisfied’: Donald Mills’ family responds to Patrick Baker’s federal sentencing

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News First at Four
Published: Jan. 19, 2022 at 11:27 AM EST
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Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 6

HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - Patrick Baker was sentenced to 42 years in federal prison on Tuesday. He only has to serve 39 and a half years due to the time he served in state prison for the murder of Donald Mills.

Baker was pardoned by former Governor Matt Bevin in 2019.

“It was unexpected, none of the families, like not just our family, but none of the family here in Knox County because we had three pardons here that took place,” said Donald Mills’ sister Melinda Mills.

It was a sentence far longer than the one Baker was facing while in state prison, which was going to be 19 years or less.

”I would like to say thank you to lame-duck Matt Bevin for giving him the pardon,” she said “Was it worth that risk to go back and double his time now? Look what he’s got.”

Mills was in the courtroom on Tuesday.

”Had done been instructed beforehand, we were to remain silent to be the bigger person in court and stuff, but, you know we were satisfied with it,” she said. “Because I really don’t believe Patrick expected that much time.”

An attorney for Baker told WYMT they intend to appeal the jury’s verdict and the sentence that was imposed by the court.

Attorney Patrick Renn added they were pleased that the court was willing to impose to a term of years rather than a life sentence.

If Baker received life under the federal system, he would not have the opportunity to be released.

“Was it worth the risk to go from the 19-year state level to go from what you got at the federal level,” she said. “I am fine with it, you know, I am praying. you know, he gets to take his last breath in federal prison, I am just as long as I’m alive.”

Mills said it is hard right now to forgive.

“At this time that is a hard thing to do, I just wished he would accept his responsibility and man up to it,” she added. “He is 43-years-old, you know, it’s been proven, you know, he’s not convicted once he’s been convicted twice.”

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