Arkansas governor commutes life sentence of woman, 87, convicted of murder in 1982

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Friday commuted the sentence of an 87-year-old woman who was serving a life sentence after murdering her boyfriend in 1982.

>> Read more trending news

Annie Varnell Ross was convicted in February 1983 of first-degree murder in the death of 52-year-old Sam Scott, KTHV reported. Ross killed Scott after a fight at her Camden home on Feb. 20, 1982.

Ross was sentenced to life in prison.

In 2008, Ross stated in a clemency application that she killed an “abusive man” while defending herself, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. She made similar self-defense claims during her trial, the newspaper reported.

Hutchinson ordered that Ross’ life sentence be reduced and that she become parole-eligible immediately, KTHV reported. There were no law enforcement objections to the application, Hutchinson said in a news release.

Ross is being held at the McPherson Unit in Newport, according to the Magnolia Reporter.

The Arkansas Board of Parole has previously recommended a commuted sentence for Ross in 2008, 2011 and 2013, but the request was rejected each time by then-Gov. Mike Beebe.

The governor makes the final decision in clemency cases in Arkansas. Hutchinson could have denied the request, sentenced Ross to a set amount of years, or made her eligible for parole. Hutchinson chose the third option this time.

There will be a 30-day waiting period for officials to receive any public comments before the final action is taken, KTHV reported.

On Air106.7 The Eagle - San Antonio's Only Classic Rock Logo

mobile apps

Everything you love about and more! Tap on any of the buttons below to download our app.

amazon alexa

Enable our Skill today to listen live at home on your Alexa Devices!