DES MOINES, Iowa – Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad has granted a commutation request for Rasberry Williams, offering a chance of parole for a man convicted of killing his neighbor outside a pool hall in 1974.
Branstad on Friday commuted Williams' sentence to life with the possibility of parole. The governor last month held an unusual public hearing on the case to hear from those who supported commutation. The victim's family told Branstad they've forgiven the now 67-year-old Williams.
The commutation now lets the Iowa Board of Parole consider Williams for work-release or parole.
Branstad held the hearing to gather input from the community where Williams shot and killed 40-year-old Lester Givhan. He'd already won backing from the parole board, prison wardens, the prosecutor who convicted him and the judge who oversaw his trial.