A Kansas City Star story on rising Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee shows that politicians’ handling of criminal cases can emerge as campaign issues almost a decade later. Huckabee told the newspaper he is “heartbroken” over the pain suffered by the families of two women murdered near Kansas City more than six years ago. Authorities say Carol Shields and Sara Andrasek were killed by Wayne DuMond, who was released from an Arkansas prison in 1999, a year before Shields' murder.
Their mothers say Huckabee is responsible, at least in part, for the release of DuMond, who died in a Missouri prison in 2005. “What a fool,” Lois Davidson, Shields' mother, said of Huckabee. “Thinking he could rule the country when he couldn't even do a good job as governor of Arkansas.” Janet Williams, Andrasek's mother, said: “Wayne DuMond should have never been on the streets in Missouri.  When politics are involved, people get hurt, and Sara and Carol Shields paid the ultimate price with their lives.” Said Huckabee: “I'm deeply sorry for what they've been through. Nothing I can do or say can reduce their level of grief.” In 1997, Huckabee denied DuMond clemency, although he said, “my desire is that you be released from prison.” That day, the Arkansas parole board agreed to release DuMond. The role Huckabee played is still in dispute. Some parole board members said they made the decision without pressure from Huckabee; others said he had talked with them about his desire for DuMond to be released.