AP FACT CHECK: Man didn’t kill after release on Obama pardon


ORLANDO, Fla. - A former inmate didn’t murder his girlfriend after receiving a pardon from President Barack Obama, despite claims made in a widely shared story. The man named in the account isn’t on a government list of pardons or commutations granted by Obama, and a mugshot accompanying the article is from a suspect in an unrelated case.

FILE - In this Jan. 18, 2017 file photo, President Barack Obama speaks during his final presidential news conference in the briefing room of the White House in Washington. President Donald Trump is accusing former President Barack Obama of having Trump's telephones “wire tapped” during last year's election, but Trump isn’t offering any evidence or saying what prompted the allegation. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

The story said a Gainesville, Florida, man named James G. Winters was arrested for the murder of his girlfriend on Feb. 27, a day after her body was discovered. The story said Winters was granted a pardon from drug trafficking and weapons convictions that led to a life sentence.

No one by the name James Winters appears on the Justice Department list of pardons and commutations granted by Obama.

Also, the story includes a mugshot of a man named Avery Draughty, who was convicted last year of an unrelated 2013 killing.

The story was shared by a site called The Underground Report, whose founder said he started it in late February to fabricate stories intended to fool supporters of President Donald Trump.

A disclaimer linked to the story after publication stated that the site produces stories that “are not based in reality.”