DES MOINES (AP) — A dying 33-year-old Iowa inmate who was sentenced to life in prison as a teenager entered hospice care Tuesday.
The Iowa Parole Board granted her a compassionate release from prison on Dec. 3.
Kristina Fetters was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in September while she was imprisoned at the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women in Mitchellville.
Iowa Department of Corrections spokesman Fred Scaletta said she has been admitted to a Des Moines hospice facility, the Des Moines Register reported.
Fetters was 15 when she entered prison for a 1995 first-degree murder conviction in the slaying of her great-aunt in 1994. Her parole makes her the first inmate in the state sentenced to life in prison as a juvenile to be released.
Polk County District Judge Douglas Staskal resentenced Fetters for parole eligibility because of her health, a move made possible by a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year that said life sentences without parole are unconstitutional for juveniles. The ruling has positioned dozens of Iowa inmates for resentencing with a chance at parole.
A parole officer will monitor Fetters' condition. The Parole Board said it will revisit the case if her condition improves.
An oncologist said that Fetters has responded to hormone therapy and that cancer cells in her bones may have shrunk. But the doctor said her disease probably remains incurable.
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