The McCafferty family hugs outside a Kentucky prison Wednesday. (Photo provided by Molly McCafferty)
FORT THOMAS, KY (FOX19) -
Cheryl McCafferty was released from jail Wednesday afternoon, the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet confirms.
McCafferty walked free at 3:30 p.m., officials said.
On Wednesday night, McCafferty's daughter, Molly, posted a picture on Instagram with the caption:
"Our prayers were answered on Monday night when we found out our mom had been pardoned and that she was finally coming home! After 9 long years our dreams are coming true and we have finally been reunited as a family. It is so hard to put into works how truly grateful I am to all who have supported us and given us the strength to make it to this day. The continued love and support we have received from so many means the absolute world to us, and we are forever grateful."
Earlier this week, outgoing Governor Steve Beshear pardoned the Fort Thomas woman convicted of killing her husband in his sleep in 2007.
Hers was one of 200 pardons granted, a spokeswoman for the governor said.
In a phone interview Tuesday, Betty Gosney said it’s been a long voyage to her daughter’s freedom. She released the following statement:
“Cheryl’s entire family wishes to express our appreciation to Governor Beshear for granting her a pardon. In addition, the Kentucky Domestic Violence Association has been extremely instrumental in providing her with legal assistance. It’s imperative that society continues to be educated regarding the horrific crime of domestic violence that affects thousands of women and children each year. This crime exists at all social levels and too frequently becomes a hidden family secret. Cheryl’s many friends, supporters and family members are eagerly awaiting her return for this blessed holiday season.”
McCafferty was found guilty in March of 2009 of first degree manslaughter.
She was sentenced to 18 years in prison and has served more than eight, said Mike Caudill, spokesman for Kentucky Department of Corrections.
Caudill said she knocked off a significant portion of the sentence by participating in educational programs, working at the prison and staying out of trouble.
The crime won't be expunged from her record.
The prosecutor on the case and Bob McCafferty's family reacted to the pardon with shock and dismay.
"To say that I'm devastated would probably be an understatement. I think that the worst part is that we didn't have the opportunity to be heard," said Michelle Snodgrass, Campbell County Commonwealth Attorney.
Snodgrass said she had no idea the pardon was coming.
"The decision by Gov. Beshear was a complete surprise. In fact, weeks ago, I reached out to the governor's office to ask whether there had been an application filed by Cheryl McCafferty," Snodgrass said.
Snodgrass said she was told there was not, and that if there was, she and Bob McCafferty's family would have the opportunity to address the governor before a decision was made.
"Unfortunately that did not happen," Snodgrass said.
Bob McCafferty's father and siblings released a statement Tuesday which read in part:
"We were extremely disappointed and frustrated to first learn about the governor's pardon from the news media. We weren't afforded the common courtesy of a phone call from his office to let us know about this thoughtless and inexplicable decision."