Public packs Iowa hearing on releasing killer

Published On: Mar 27 2013 02:06:09 PM CDT
WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) -

Dozens of residents have packed a conference room in Waterloo, Iowa, to weigh in on whether the governor should free an inmate widely credited with turning his life around after committing a 1974 murder.

The room at the Black Hawk County Courthouse is overflowing as the Iowa Board of Parole begins to gather input on whether Gov. Terry Branstad should commute the life sentence of 66-year-old Rasberry Williams so he can be released on parole.

The parole board has already recommended that Branstad approve Williams' application for commutation. But Branstad says he wants to hear from the public in the community where Williams' crime happened.

Williams shot a neighbor outside a Waterloo pool hall after an argument over a gambling debt.

Branstad has until May to make a decision.