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.
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.”