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Gov. Edwards denies parole for man who helped kill drug runner, federal informant Barry Seal

1 year 4 months 3 weeks ago Friday, January 27 2023 Jan 27, 2023 January 27, 2023 5:05 PM January 27, 2023 in News
Source: The Advocate

Governor John Bel Edwards has denied the clemency request of one of the men jailed for plotting the murder of drug runner and government informant Barry Seal.

Bernardo Antonio Vásquez was one of three men convicted in Seal's killing outside a halfway house on Airline Highway in 1986, The Advocate reports. Vásquez was tasked by Pablo Escobar's cartel with tracking Seal's movements in Baton Rouge.

A clemency hearing was held for Vásquez in September when he asked the state pardon board to grant him parole. The panel voted unanimously to recommend that Gov. Edwards reduce Vásquez's sentence and grant him parole, according to the news outlet.

The governor decided that Seal's status as a federal witness and the lengths Vásquez went in plotting the killing outweighed those endorsements.

"After carefully reviewing Mr. Vasquez’s file and the facts of the case, which show that he explicitly left his home country of Colombia and came to Baton Rouge with the sole purpose of carrying out a murder for hire to extinguish a cooperating witness in a critically important federal investigation of global proportions, Gov. Edwards has denied his request for clemency," Eric Holl, Edwards' deputy chief of staff, said in a statement provided Thursday.

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