July 1, Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson released a statement announcing his “intent to grant executive clemency.” Among those picked to have their sentence commuted is Rolf D. Kaestel.
Kaestel, now 70, was arrested in 1981 on charges of aggravated robbery. He received a life sentence due to previous convictions. He is now “immediately parole eligible.”
According to True Crime Daily, Kaestel was arrested after robbing a Fort Smith taco store armed only with a water pistol. He got away with $264.
The Arkansas Times reported Kaestel held a clean prison record. Since his conviction, he was recommended for parole by the victim and prosecutors multiple times.
Dennis Schultterman was the cashier the night of the robbery. The New York Post reports Shultermann feels bad for Kaestel saying, “I actually apologized to him because I felt like even though he was the one that robbed me, I felt like I had taken his life because he had been in there for so long.”
Now, Kaestel must wait til the end of July for the decision to go through. There is a mandatory 30 day waiting period after commutations by the governor for the decision to become final.