Branstad Commutes Life Sentence Of Inmate
by Associated Press
April 27, 2013 2:37 PM
Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad has commuted the life sentence of a 67-year-old inmate who has been behind bars since being convicted of killing another man in 1974.
Raspberry Williams has been serving a life sentence for first-degree murder for fatally shooting Lester Givhan outside a Waterloo pool hall over a gambling debt nearly 40 years ago. The state Board of Parole in February recommended that Branstad commute his sentence.
Branstad commuted Williams' sentence Friday.
Prison officials have credited Williams with saving the lives of prison staff who were taken hostage by another prisoner in 1979, as well as later stopping the rape of a female prison staffer. Officials also say Williams mentored other prisoners.