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Saturday, March 14, 1998

No clemency for woman in drug case

    Gov. Mike Huckabee has denied the recommended release of Sharlene Wilson, 44, a Hot Spring County woman who claims she was jailed on false drug charges because of her knowledge about the deaths of Saline County teenagers Don Henry and Kevin Ives.
    The state Post Prison Transfer Board recommended in a 3-2 vote that the governor grant Wilson's request for executive clemency or commutation.
    She is serving 31 years in prison for 1993 convictions of delivering marijuana and methampetamine.
    Wilson will be eligible for parole Oct. 4, 2000, and is scheduled to be discharged Jan. 4, 2009.
    In a letter dated Thursday, the governor said he denied her application because the board's vote was not unanimous, her sentence was "not unusual" and she has long criminal history.
    Huckabee noted her 1980 conviction for possession of cocaine and marijuana, for which she received a suspended three-year prison sentence; a 1988 forgery conviction, for which she received 10 years' probation; and a 1993 conviction for possession of drug paraphernalia, for which she was fined $10,000.
    Henry and Ives were run over by a train Aug. 23, 1987, near Bryant. Dr. Fahmy Malak, the former state medical examiner, ruled the deaths accidental, claiming the teens fell asleep on the tracks after smoking marijuana.
    A Saline County grand jury determined the boys were murdered, but no indictments were ever returned.
    The FBI is currently conducting an investigation into the deaths.

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