DESOTO COUNTY, MS (abc24.com) - Mississippi's Attorney General may send four convicted killers, recently pardoned by former governor Haley Barbour, back to prison. One of the men is convicted of killing a store clerk in Desoto County in the early 90's.
After their release on Sunday, January 8, 2012, Attorney General Jim Hood got a temporary court order requiring them to check in every day with the state department of corrections. Three of the men have called in, but the only one who hasn't is the one from Desoto County
"There's going to be a national search for some of them," Hood stated. "We'll catch them. It's just a matter of time."
Four convicted murderers, who are supposed to spend the rest of their lives in jail, are now walking around free men. The man who murdered Mark McAbee's uncle is one of them. Jospeh Ozment shot and killed his uncle, a Desoto County store clerk, in 1992.
"Parole boards are there for a reason, why can one man pardon someone free and clear?" he asked. "I'm floored that this came about this way, still trying to piece it all together to find out what happened."
The state's Attorney General claims the pardons are illegal. The four men are required to publish notice of their pardons in local papers where their crimes were committed at least thirty days before being released. None of the men met that deadline.
Hood said, "It appears the vast majority of these so-called pardons that he attempted to grant, there was no proper publication."
In addition to those four, a fifth man convicted of armed robbery was also released. Barbour said he's very comfortable with the decision he made.
A court hearing on the matter will be held January 23rd.