After 39 Years, Iowa Inmate Inches Toward Freedom

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — One year after Gov. Terry Branstad made him eligible for parole, a man serving life in prison for a 1974 slaying is a step closer to earning freedom after 39 years of incarceration.

The Iowa Board of Parole has requested an interview with Rasberry Williams next month.

The board's website says such a request typically signals "a high probability that some type of releasing action may result." The board could grant his release, move him to a work-release facility, or keep him behind bars.

Williams fatally shot his neighbor outside a Waterloo pool hall after the two argued over a gambling debt in July 1974.

Branstad commuted Williams' life sentence last year to give him the opportunity to seek parole, saying his behavior behind bars had been extraordinary.
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