Truth Squad: Governor Huckabee’s Response to the Wayne Dumond Incident

Nothing but the facts please Governor, nothing but the facts.

December 05, 2007

This is the transcript from his answer at the press conference today on the Wayne Dumond Case.

Governor Huckabee was asked if he had pressured the parole board to release Dumond.

Governor Huckabee: No. I did not. Let me categorically say that I did not. And it’s really interesting, if people want to really look into that record. Here’s the chronology, and here’s the timeline. I’m going to try to do it as briefly as I can, because it’s been delved into repeatedly, normally during an election year.

In 1992, Bill Clinton was governor; Jim Guy Tucker was Lieutenant Governor. And during Bill Clinton’s governorship, while he was campaigning for president, Jim Guy Tucker signed the papers to commute the sentence of Wayne DuMond to parole eligibility. That’s what made him parole eligible in 1992.

He had been convicted of rape in Forest City Arkansas, during time of awaiting trial, he was hogtied and castrated; his testicles were later placed in a jar on the desk of a sherriff.
It was a brutal, amazingly, just, complicated case. There were all kinds of questions about the case. Many stories were written; I am sure you can Google all the way back to the 1980s and get more information than you even want on the case. For reasons Bill Clinton and Jim Guy Tucker would have to answer, not me, the sentence was commuted in 1992.
I was not elected to anything at that time; I was a candidate for the United States Senate. I was elected Lieutenant Governor in 1993; in 1996, Wayne DuMond had requested another commutation for time served because the parole board had not granted parole even though he was parole eligible.

Let me make it clear, governors in Arkansas cannot parole anybody. The parole process is separated from governor; the governor can commute a sentence to make it parole eligible. The actual parole is handled completely separate from the governor. Jim Guy Tucker had been convicted of Whitewater related felonies, he resigned. When I came into office in July, the file of Wayne DuMond was on my desk and was transferred to me having been sat there for several months prior to my coming of office.

That request for commutation to time served awaited me. I originally considered it, indicated even an intention I that might grant it. There was and incredible outcry over that, I ultimately requested to deny it. Primarily for the reason I believed there needed to be some supervision; I was not completely confident that it would be appropriate for him to get out without supervision. He had a unblemished prison record – an exemplary record in terms of getting along as an inmate. He had met all the qualifications for being paroled, including having a job lined up, a sponsor with a church I think in Houston, TX, originally.

I chose ultimately not to pardon him. I made a visit to the parole board early in my tenure as a governor at the request of chairman, because you gotta remember, every member of that parole board had been appointed by Jim Guy Tucker or Bill Clinton. Not one of them appointed by me. I’m a new Republican governor, they’d never seen one. I think they had real concern on how to interrelate or how to relate to me. And what kind of attitude I had in general to crime, attitude, parole, etc. So at their invitation, I went to the meeting; someone brought up this case.

Frankly, it was simply part of a broader discussion; I did not ask them to do anything. I did indicate it was sitting at my desk; and I was giving thought to it. But this was probably in, I’m thinking maybe September or October when that meeting was held; I can’t remember exactly. The parole board, the following year, early 97 approved his parole plan after I had denied the further commutation.

Subsequent to that, he…I can’t remember exactly the timing, he left there, went to MO, unfortunately was later convicted for the murder of one woman and awaiting trial for the murder of another when he died in prison.

It was a horrible situation, horrible, I feel awful about it in every way. I wish that there was some way I could go back and reverse the clock and put him back in prison. But nobody, not me, not Jim Guy Tucker, not Bill Clinton, not that parole board, could ever imagine what might have transpired.

For people to say that I was responsible in getting him out makes a few presumptions

Number one, it presumes, I had an influence on Bill Clinton and Jim Guy Tucker in 1992. The second presumption, it assumes I had the amazing persuasive power to go into a board of seven people, all of them appointed by Democratic governors before me and persuade them to do something they didn’t wish to do.

It also assumes that, not only did I have that power, but that only two of them changed story about what happened and they didn’t do so until 6 years later when we were in the middle of an election year. And after, and subsequent to the fact that I had not reappointed them to their $75,000 jobs on the parole board.

Now if you can follow that line and believe that I am solely responsible, then you’ll believe that. But you’ll believe a lot of other things as well. I am deeply sorry, and I mean, awfully, just horrified of what happened to (inaudible). And there is not a single person that will ever bring those women back to their families. But that’s the story, that’s what happened.

And yes it will come up in the presidential campaign. It came up in my governor’s campaign. There will be people who are victims who will probably be brought forth to make statements but, you know, I can’t fix it. I can only tell the truth and let the truth be my judge.


3 Responses to “Truth Squad: Governor Huckabee’s Response to the Wayne Dumond Incident”

  1. Miranda Says:

    Read these recollections by Joe Davis as posted at on the blog page LA Times: Here Comes Huck!

    Davis, Joe
    12/05/2007 01:39 AM

    Let me tell you what I remember about the the Wayne Dumond thing. I lived there when it was happening. This is the best I remember how it all happened. I lived in Brickeys, AR at the time. Sheriff Coolidge Connelly was notorious for running gambling joints in our county – St. Francis County Arkansas. The Sheriff himself raped several African-American girls and got away with it. He and several of his deputies beat the hell out of one of my friends (only 16 years old) just because his dad didn’t pay the “protection money” for the poker room he run out of the back of the little grocery store.

    The whole deal was so confused with so much Democrat corruption that nobody knew what the truth was. I don’t think anybody really knows the truth that is stilll living.

    What we do know is Coolidge Connelly’s deputy thugs castrated Dumond and Sheriff Connelly had his balls on his desk with a sign on them that said something like “Don’t Mess With Cooledge Connelly”.

    The parole board was going to parole Dumond way way back while Bill Clinton was governor here. Bill Clinton was related to the girl who was raped, so he threw a screaming crazy fit.

    After Clinton blocked Dumond’s parole we had this preacher named Jay Cole who went all over the state telling about how an innocent man was locked up and the corrupt Democrats had framed and abused an innocent man. Everybody knew about the abuses and corruption in the Democrat party at the time and were very afraid to cross the Democrats in Arkansas (in large measure they still are) But because of what that preacher was saying… and because we all knew how the good old boy systems were corrupt the WE ALL BELIEVED that Dumond was innocent. Especially after Sheriff Cooledge Connelly was convicted and sentenced to prison for like 150 years or something.

    Bill Clinton finished up that term and then we had Jim Guy Tucker for governor, then finally Mike Huckabee.

    So long before Huckabee ever took office as governor, Dumond was scheduled to be paroled and wasn’t.

    Huckabee was really the first Republican to break into the state level of government in Arkansas and paid dearly for it. The democrats undermined, back stabbed, and railed against him like only people in Louisiana could relate to. They actually nailed / screwed his door shut to his office in capitol building and it was weeks before he got in. Some say he was ridiculed working at a desk sitting in the hallway. You guys don’t know the crap the Clinton machine can heap on a Republican. In those days, Huckabee walked through hell and prevailed. He should be respected alot more than he is.

    Then there was alot of conflicting stories, most of the ones saying Dumond was guilty was coming from convicted or corrupt Democrat officials. Then there was the preacher Jay Cole. I remember someone in church telling me that Huckabee had promised Jay Cole that Dumond would make sure Dumond was treated fairly. Everybody at church loved Huckabee for it.

    Then, as things went on. Apparently Huckabee saw something that made him balk at granting a parole because it wasn’t long before those associated with Jay Cole were talking about what a coward Huckabee was and how sorry he was for not seeing to it that an innocent man got justice. Huckabee was “dragging his feet”. Now everybody at church hated Huckabee for it.

    Apparently, Huckabee kept his promise to the conservative preacher to make sure that Dumond got fair treatment by the parole board, but he would not grant parole and it angered his own “so-called” allies.

    People should seek to learn the truth and the truth is that any of you or anyone else would have probably handled the situation far worse than Mr. Huckabee did. I know I would have. I would have paroled him. Incorrectly to be sure. Dumond was scum of the earth. But when facts are so confused with rampant Democratic corruption, how can we be expected to perfectly discern the truth.

    Now consider that Huckabee was a brand new Governor with no experience suddenly taking over for a convicted Whitewater Felon Governor Jim Guy Tucker.

    No one has a right judge Mike Huckabee about that stuff until they have walked a mile in those shoes. If he had done nothing but clean up the Democrat corruption in Arkansas, he should be considered worth of the Presidency. At least now, people are not afraid to register as Republican in half of the state.

    Even now, in areas around Marianna there are polling places where people are deathly afraid to get a Republican ballot during the primaries, but vote 50 to 60% for Republican presidental candidates in the General election. Think about that.

  2. billgarcia Says:

    Miranda – thanks so much for sharing!

  3. Truth Squad: Former Huckabee Aide Denounces Huffpo Distortion « Bill’s Weblog Says:

    […] (In addition to this rebuttal to the Huffington Post article, see the comment from Miranda who was living in Arkansas at the time – click here to read the post and comment) […]

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