A person serving a life sentence for holding up an Arkansas taco store with a plastic water gun might lastly get sprung – after 40 years behind bars.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson introduced Thursday he plans to commute the sentence of 70-year-old Rolf Kaestel, who made off with $264 after he robbed Senor Bob’s Taco Hut in 1981.
“I simply spoke with Rolf and wished him a Completely happy Independence Day, letting him know he would quickly be a free man,” filmmaker Kelly Duda informed The Put up.
Duda had been one among many pushing for Kaestel’s launch, and he had interviewed the inmate as a whistleblower in a state blood financial institution scandal – after which Kaestel was transferred to a Utah jail. The filmmaker, who mentioned the blood financial institution interview didn’t win Kaestel “any favors with the great ol boys” has arrange a GoFundMe web page to boost cash for Kaestel to make a “easy transition” to freedom.
“Forty years is manner too lengthy to spend in jail for a water pistol theft of $264,” Duda mentioned. “Whereas I’m grateful to Governor Hutchinson and to everybody who supported Rolf Kaestel’s launch, it shouldn’t require a important mass of influential folks to proper this improper. “
Others who pushed for Kaestel’s launch included the cashier on the taco stand who was robbed by Kaestel.
“I truly apologized to him as a result of I felt like though he was the one which robbed me, I felt like I had taken his life as a result of he had been in there for therefore lengthy,” Dennis Schultterman mentioned in an emotional YouTube video posted by Duda.
Schlutterman mentioned Kaestel by no means even pointed the faux gun at him, solely displaying it by pulling his jacket again. Within the video, he mentioned he was “shocked” when he discovered Kaestel was nonetheless in jail 25 years after the theft.
“Many nights I sat there and thought of it and thought of it,” he mentioned. “I couldn’t imagine that he was nonetheless there.”
There are not any legislation enforcement objections to the applying, based on the announcement from the governor’s workplace.
There’s a 30-day window for public touch upon Kaestel’s clemency, The Every day Beast mentioned. If nothing adjustments by Aug. 4, he’ll be instantly eligible for parole, a spokesperson for the governor informed the web site.