Denied: Family members speak after loved ones denied commutation

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TAFT, Okla. (KFOR) — A group of DOC inmates expecting to go home as part of the largest, single-day commutation in U.S. were denied commutation by Governor Kevin Stitt.

Tammy Miramontes told News 4 she was excited and ready to welcome her daughter, Heather Garcia, home on Monday.

Garcia was on the list of 70 Eddie Warrior Correctional Center inmates who were recommended by the pardon and parole board for commutation as part of the HB 1269 docket. Those inmates were told they’d be released on Monday.

“This was huge, man. This was something you know the governor done and it was fantastic,” Miramontes said.

However on Saturday morning, she got a crushing phone call from her daughter.

“She wants to know if I’m sitting down,” Miramontes said.

Garcia’s commutation recommendation was denied by Governor Stitt 48 hours before Miramontes thought she’d be welcoming her daughter home.

“I’m like, 'How can they do that?' They’ve already done all the DMV paperwork, they’ve done her exit packet. They’ve done your exit photos. It’s been announced on the news,” Miramontes said.

Garcia is currently serving time for two counts of forgery.

Officials with the pardon and parole board told News 4 Garcia is one of three DOC inmates on the HB 1269 docket who were denied by Governor Stitt for failing to register as a violent offender.

For Garcia, it was a 2010 child abuse conviction that she finished serving time for in 2015.

“I’ve got three beautiful granddaughters I’ve been raising for years. They get to talk to her on the phone. Never got to make it down there. We just really voluntarily can’t afford it, which is sad, because she is so far [away],” Miramontes said.

Garcia’s next step is to apply for commutation again. She is scheduled to be released in 2023.

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