Man pardoned by former Kentucky governor faces assault charges

Published 10:52 pm Saturday, June 25, 2022

A Kentucky man pardoned by former Gov. Matt Bevin, who said the man will do “great things with his life,” is facing assault and strangulation charges.

The Kentucky Enquirer reports 20-year-old Johiem Bandy, of Covington, is charged with strangulation, assault and second-degree criminal mischief for incidents that happened in March and April, according to court documents.

One female victim told police Bandy “pinned her against the wall, placing his hands around her neck, and restricting her ability to breathe,” according to a complaint. In another complaint, Bandy is charged with choking and assaulting a woman following a dispute over money.

Bandy was sentenced at age 15 to 13 years in prison for robbery and assault, according to court documents. He had served two years of that sentence when he was fully pardoned by Bevin in 2019.

Bevin wrote in the document that Bandy is “turning his life around,” and “I am confident that he will do great things with his life.” It was one of hundreds of pardons and commutations issued by Bevin during his final days in office.

“Obviously the former governor was very wrong,” Kenton County Commonwealth’s Attorney Rob Sanders wrote in an email to the newspaper. “Bandy hasn’t turned his life around.”

Bandy was being held at the Kenton County Detention Center on a $5,000 bond, Sanders said.