The Iowa Board of Parole has voted against letting a well-connected “lifer” out of prison. The vote was four-to-one against commuting Kathy Tyler’s life sentence for the murder of her ex-husband, a Des Moines doctor. Prominent Iowans like former Governor Robert Ray lobbied for Tyler’s release, while Tyler family members said they would fear for their lives if Tyler were paroled. Parole board member Elizabeth Ford voted against Tyler’s release citing confidential psychiatric medical reports and interviews that she says raise concerns.Kathy Tyler’s daughter, LeAnn, rejects the idea her mother poses a threat.LeAnn Tyler is a lawyer from Davenport and she was in the room when the parole board voted on her mother’s case. She says she’s disappointed but not terribly surprised.Tyler has not paid restitution to the Tyler family since 1986, and board members like Ford said that was another consideration.Parole board chairman Chuck Larson praised Tyler for her behavior and good works behind bars, but voted against her release, partly because of the impact on the victim’s family.Some board members said Tyler, who’s been behind bars 21 years, hadn’t served enough time for the crime. Tyler’s lawyer, John Roehrick, said that raises questions for other inmates.The parole board’s recommendation will be delivered to Governor Vilsack on Monday, and he has the authority to reject the parole board’s vote and commute Tyler’s sentence.
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