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Dying inmate who killed as teen paroled to hospice

Dec. 3, 2013 at 10:00 PM   |   Comments

DES MOINES, Iowa, Dec. 3 (UPI) -- An inmate dying of inoperable breast cancer who was 15 when she was imprisoned for murder in Iowa was paroled Tuesday to live in a hospice.

Kristina Fetters, 33, now in the hospice unit of the Iowa Correctional Center for Women in Mitchellville, could be released in two weeks, The Des Moines Register reported. She was diagnosed in September with Stage 4 cancer.

The parole board members who supported her release said she could get better care outside the prison.

"Not only are we worried about public safety, we're also concerned about her safety," board member Doris Kelley said during the hearing.

Fetters, who was given a sentence of life with no parole for the murder of her great aunt, Arlene Klehm, was one of 38 Iowa inmates affected by a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling on juveniles. The high court found state laws denying juveniles parole automatically are unconstitutional.

Last month, a judge resentenced Fetters, opening the possibility of parole.

Jason Carlstrom, the chairman of the board, argued that any decision should be delayed. Dr. Robert Schreck, a Des Moines oncologist who reviewed Fetters' records, said she appears to be responding well to hormone therapy and said she might live for several years, although he could not predict her life expectancy.

Carlstrom said the board could reconsider Fetters' parole if she becomes well enough to live outside the hospice.

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