Mississippi woman seeks pardon in crash that killed couple

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A Mississippi woman is seeking a pardon, years after pleading guilty in a crash that killed two doctors.

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – A Mississippi woman is seeking a pardon, years after pleading guilty in a crash that killed two doctors.

But Republican Gov. Phil Bryant has not issued any pardons during nearly eight years in office.

Karen Collins was named Karen Irby in 2009, when the crash occurred in Jackson. At the time, she was married to a wealthy businessman. She was driving when their Mercedes sedan crashed into another vehicle, killing Dr. Lisa Dedousis and her fiancé, Dr. Mark Pogue.

Karen Irby pleaded guilty to culpable negligence manslaughter in 2010 and was sentenced to 18 years in prison. Republican Gov. Haley Barbour released her from prison as he left office in early 2012. He ordered that she serve three years on house arrest, plus two years under the supervision of the Mississippi Department of Corrections. She was released from house arrest in early 2015.

The Clarion Ledger reported that the former Karen Irby, using her current name of Karen Collins, has been publishing legal notices saying she is seeking a pardon.

Applicants for an executive pardon must post notice in a newspaper in the county of conviction 30 days before making an application to the governor. Cases filed with the governor’s office are sent to the Parole Board for investigation. The Parole Board usually requires letters of recommendation from the community and family, and a statement of unusual circumstances.

The Parole Board can conduct a hearing on applications.

In an unrelated case, a former doctor recently sought a pardon from Bryant, and his office wrote in response that Bryant has granted no pardons and: “He has made the decision that he is not going to grant any pardons during his term as Governor.”

Authorities said that the night of the crash, Karen Irby was traveling at least 70 mph (112 kph) in a 40 mph (64 kph) zone and her blood-alcohol level was above the legal limit. She later said her then-husband, businessman Stuart M. Irby Sr., was physically assaulting her when the accident happened.

The Irbys divorced while she was in prison. Authorities said Stuart Irby, who suffered a brain injury in the crash, took his own life in January 2012.

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