FRANKFORT, Ky. – In the hours prior to former Gov. Matt Bevin’s term ending on Monday, Bevin pardoned a Bowling Green man convicted in 2016 for the murder of Jeremy Pryor.
A Warren Circuit Court jury convicted Michael Andrew Hardy on July 21, 2016 of murder, three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment, one count of first-degree criminal mischief and one count of operating a motor vehicle under the influence. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
The jury found that Hardy was driving under the influence when his car struck a car driven by local musician Jeremy Pryor Nov. 21, 2014 resulting in Pryor’s death.
At the time of Hardy’s arrest, he told police he was an alcoholic and should be in prison, according to his arrest citation.
In the conditional pardon, Hardy, 25, must refrain from alcohol consumption. He must also share his story and Pryor’s name in schools, churches and other gatherings at least six times per year for the next 20 years.
“I do not believe that society, as a whole, or the memory of Jeremy Pryor more specifically, will be best served by the continued incarceration of Mr. Hardy…,” the pardon reads.
Pryor’s mother, Johnetta Pryor, was stunned and too emotionally upset to speak about the pardon on camera today.
“This is what Bevin left us with. He’s saying it’s OK to murder someone and go out and speak about it for 20 years. What is this going to say to a child telling them that it’s OK to speed and kill somebody, and the end result is Jeremy is still dead,” Pryor said.