Governor Gives Pardons to Multiple Criminals, Let’s Them Walk Free

On December 20, Governor Roy Cooper, a Democrat from North Carolina, granted clemency to an individual who had been incarcerated since adolescence for his involvement in a deadly shooting and robbery. 

Additionally, the progressive governor extended pardons to four other individuals who had been convicted of various offenses committed during their youth.

42-year-old Darnell Cherry, who was convicted in 1999 for charges including burglary, second-degree murder, and other offenses related to the death and robbery of Robert Edwards and Sonja Williams, received the commutation. State correction records and information from Governor Cooper’s office confirm that Cherry committed these crimes in Bertie County.

As per various sources, the commutation for Darnell Cherry is set to be officially enacted on January 3, 2024. This decision follows a recommendation from a specialized board established by the governor to review petitions from individuals who were sentenced to prison for crimes committed when they were under the age of 18.

Initially slated for release in 2035, Darnell Cherry’s early release is attributed to his consistent employment and the acquisition of trade qualifications and a GED diploma during his time in prison.

Governor Cooper’s office stated that each pardon granted to former offenders was extended to individuals with documented records of community service and responsible civic conduct following their convictions.

Among the beneficiaries of this initiative is Flemming Ragas, who was convicted in 1999 for charges related to possession of stolen goods, larceny, and breaking and entry in Cumberland and Lee counties. Ragas later served in the US military during the Iraq war.

Samuel Fagg, another individual granted a pardon, was convicted in 2002 for possession with intent to deliver or sell cocaine in Wake County. According to Governor Cooper’s release documents, Fagg holds a doctoral degree and has engaged in various scientific research endeavors.

Additional individuals set to receive pardons include Tramayne Hinton, convicted of robbery in 1998, and Portia Pittman, who was found guilty by North Carolina law enforcement of being an accessory after an armed robbery incident in Orange County in 2008.




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