Fortner’s evidence of Hood’s office pre-pardon involvement includes text messages between Scott from Hood’s office and Daryl Neely, Barbour’s policy adviser, where Neely asks Scott to place the notifications for former mansion trusties in various newspapers, and Scott agrees.
Fortner said he downloaded the text messages directly from the cellular telephone of one of the two men, and he has also reviewed phone records and confirmed that the phone numbers belonged to the two.
Scott began the alleged text message correspondence Nov. 28, sending a message that pointed Neely to the constitutional requirement, to make sure he was aware of it.
A response allegedly sent by Neely Dec. 6 reads, “Top Guy wants you to go ahead and run notice for those currently housed at the mansion.”
According to the transcript of messages, Scott then allegedly asked Neely to provide the list of people for whom Scott would need to place notice for. It included Gatlin, Hooker, Kern, McCray and Ozment, as well as several former trusties who are out on parole – Jimmy Avera, Booker Barnes, Victor Collins and Anthony Sansing.
On Dec. 7, Scott wrote, “Okay, we will do that.” Neely thanked him, calling it a “team effort.”