FIRST ON FOX: Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman, the state’s current lieutenant governor, voted this month in favor of giving a woman a hearing in front of the Keystone State’s board of pardons after she was sentenced to prison for allegedly attacking her housemate with scissors and knives.
During an Oct. 13 board meeting, Fetterman split with Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro to vote “yes” to grant Brandyn “Brandy” Mills, a woman who had been sentenced to at least five and half years in prison for the 2021 stabbing of her housemate, a hearing in front of the state’s board of pardons.
An audio recording from the meeting shows that Fetterman was one of two members from the five-member board who voted to give Mills a hearing. The other board member who voted to allow Mills to have a hearing was Marsha Grayson.
In September 2021, Mills was arrested after she had reportedly stabbed her housemate, Gary Baughman, at his home in Southampton Township, which is located near Shippensburg, Pennsylvania. Mills, according to the Shippensburg News-Chronicle, faced numerous charges, including one of aggravated assault and attempted homicide, after she stabbed Baughman “several times with scissors and large kitchen knives.”
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An affidavit of probable cause, which the outlet said had been filed in Magisterial District Judge H. Anthony Adams’ office, revealed that Pennsylvania State Police found Baughman “with several visible injuries and bleeding profusely.”
Police also reportedly found Mills sitting on a couch at the residence holding knives. The outlet noted that after disobeying police commands to put the weapons down, Mills “began stabbing herself in her chest,” and police had to use a taser to subdue her. Mills was arrested and charged with attempted homicide, aggravated assault and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. She was denied bail.
Penn Live Patriot-News reported in May that, according to court documents, Mills entered a “no contest” plea in exchange for the attempted homicide charge being dismissed.
Following the attack from Mills, Baughman, who suffered cuts to the scalp and other areas of his body, was taken to a local hospital for treatment and survived. Baughman later told authorities, according to Patriot-News, that Mills had been drinking before the attack and that he believed she was trying to kill him.
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Mills had previously pleaded guilty to charges of promoting prostitution, driving under the influence on two separate occasions, theft, and disorderly conduct.
“This was a vote only to determine if the board should hear the case — not to recommend or deny clemency,” Joe Calvello, a Fetterman campaign spokesman, told Fox News Digital in a statement. “The victim Representative Marsha Grayson, whose position on the board is meant to advocate for victims and involve them in the process, also voted to hear the case. This is a desperate attempt by Dr. Oz and his allies to make a story out of a process hearing.”
Fetterman, who serves as chairman of the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons, has faced immense criticism for his record on crime as he has sought to defeat his Republican opponent, Dr. Mehmet Oz, in the state’s November 8 midterm election.
As first reported by the Washington Free Beacon earlier this month, Fetterman said during a 2018 questionnaire for Reclaim Philadelphia, a group founded by former staff and volunteers with the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, that the pardons board “should be used as a bully pulpit for the larger issue of criminal justice reform.”
“There is a real opportunity to build a statewide platform that elevates and exposes the damage created by the school-to-prison pipeline, the prison industrial complex, and ‘tough on crime’ policies like ‘Stop and Frisk’ and cash bail,’” Fetterman said. “Restorative justice to me is just common sense.”
Throughout his time on the board of pardons, Fetterman has also cast several controversial votes to release individuals who had been previously convicted of certain crimes.
Fetterman last year cast the lone vote in a failed bid to free Alexis Rodriguez, who had been convicted of murdering the 17-year-old son of a Philadelphia police officer in 1989. In March of last year, Fetterman cast the lone vote in a failed bid to commute the sentence of John David Brookins, who is serving a life sentence after being convicted of murdering a woman with a pair of scissors.
It was also revealed this month that Fetterman had cast a crucial vote that led to the release of a man who had been convicted of first-degree murder in the 1969 killing of an elderly woman.
Fox News’ Jessica Chasmar contributed to this article.