Governor “paying very close attention” to pardon request after NewsChannel 3 investigation

Posted at 8:36 PM, Nov 25, 2014
and last updated 2014-11-26 08:22:11-05

Governor Terry McAuliffe is considering using his power of pardon for Bobbie Morman after an exclusive NewsChannel 3 investigation.

"I`m in here for something I didn`t do," said Morman, a 40-year-old Norfolk man who is 21 years into a 48 year prison sentence for a drive-by shooting someone else has admitted to for decades.

"Time and time I admit it.  To this day I admit it," Gino Payne told NewsChannel 3.  Payne has admitted to police, judges and a jury that he is the one who shot in the air out of a car during the 1993 incident in Norfolk.  No one was hurt or killed.  However, a jury did not believe Payne, and convicted Morman based on testimony from the so-called targets of the shooting.

"I think it`s a little strange that the judge found no reasonable doubt in this case given the fact that someone admitted to it," said Norfolk attorney S.W. Dawson.  After learning of NewsChannel 3's investigation into Morman's case, Dawson wrote a letter to McAuliffe asking him to pardon Morman.

Morman's previous appeals to the Virginia Court of Appeals and the Virginia Supreme court have been denied.  A pardon from the governor is his last hope.

"We`re asking the governor to take all these factors into consideration and just to let him go," said Dawson.  "He`s been in prison now for almost 20 years, and I think it`s time that he comes home."

NewsChannel 3 investigator Jessica Larche tracked down the governor to ask about Morman's request.

"I am paying very close attention," said Governor McAuliffe.  "I want to see this investigated, and I want a recommendation on my desk very quickly."

The governor can act on the pardon request at his discretion.  Morman's release date is 2036.