Dying Inmate Granted Parole by Iowa Parole BoardBy: Jennifer Curra - December 3, 2013
Kristina Fetters was convicted of murdering her 73-year-old great aunt, Arlene Klehm, in 1995. Fetters was only 15-years-old when she was charged with first-degree murder, which was the youngest age for a prisoner in Iowa at the time. That was 18 years ago. Thirty-three-year old Fetters was diagnosed with Stage 4 inoperable breast cancer in September. As a result of the diagnosis, efforts have been made on behalf of the inmate to secure her release.
Members of the community have been so passionate about this case that an online petition was created to encourage officials (the Iowa State Parole Board and Governor Branstad) to release Fetters. The petition, which is available here was able to secure 1,141 signatures. A December 3rd update on the petition website read as follows: “Today, Krissy was paroled; she will be going to a hospice. Thank you to everyone who signed this petition. Working, praying, and supporting her together is what got her released. Thank you all again.”
During a November 20th hearing, the courts recommended a release. “Kristina Fetters is rehabilitated and has redeemed herself. The court recommends to the parole board that the defendant be released immediately from custody because of her poor health condition and prognosis.”
Fred Scaletta, who is the spokesman for the Iowa Department of Corrections, spoke about the process involved when deciding whether to release an inmate where the well-being of the general public is also considered. “The parole board always looks at public safety. Considering her medical condition, she is not really a threat to public safety,” Scaletta said.
On Tuesday, the Iowa Parole Board decided to release Fetters to hospice where she will be permitted to remain unless her medical condition changes. Scaletta explained that Fetters will still be subjected to “intense supervision, including regular contact from a parole officer.”
Denise Fetters said that she plans to be near her daughter during this time. “She needs a momma’s support and prayers, so that’s where I’m going to be,” Denise said.[Image Via NDN]