President to get clemency request from man charged in Helen Brach case

An ABC 7 I-Team Investigation
The only man charged in connection with the Helen Brach case plans to file a clemency request with U.S. President Donald Trump.

Investigators said that Richard Bailey was a gigolo who admitted conning the candy lady Helen Brach by selling her lame horses.

But Bailey was never charged with the murder of Mrs. Brach, 40 years ago last week.

Nevertheless, he has been in the Coleman Florida Federal Prison for 20 years because a sentencing witness claimed he was involved in her killing.

That witness was horse hustler Joe Plemmons, who testified at Bailey's sentencing that Bailey was a party to her murder.

Goudie: "Richard Bailey did solicit you?"

Joe Plemmons, federal informant: "Absolutely, without any doubt in this whole world."

And because of that, in 1995 the judge said Bailey's lengthy sentence reflected his involvement in the conspiracy to kill her.

Ten years later, in 2005, government informant Plemmons "recanted his testimony," according to Bailey's attorney, and that will be the basis for their presidential clemency request and an argument to the Supreme Court, if they can get there.

There is one additional complication the I-Team has learned about Monday night. The federal informant who changed his tune, Joe Plemmons, is dead.

According to public records, he died last August 25 while in Florida hospice. The 68-year-old conniver had esophageal cancer.

As he told various versions of Helen Brach's disappearance and demise, the actual timeline and roles of the players went with Plemmons to the cremation chamber.

Plemmon's rotating story never helped Bailey during his appeals.

At age 87, in failing health and in federal prison, Bailey knows that time is of the essence.

Bailey's attorney Matt Stanton said this isn't a case of someone looking for early release. Bailey has already done 20 years for fraud, and Stanton said he's now doing extra time for something never proven, for which he was never tried or convicted.
Related topics:
i team
Copyright © 2022 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.