Governor Tom Vilsack has commuted the life prison sentence of a man serving time for the fiery deaths of five Iowans. Sixty-nine-year-old Ronald Eric Veverka has been serving a life sentence for setting a Des Moines apartment fire that killed five people in 1977. He has served 27 years behind bars for the crime, and the Governor says Veverka does not pose a risk to public safety if he’s released from prison. The governor did acknowledge Veverka had a history of alcohol abuse and mental health problems before the crime, but Vilsack says there’s no evidence Veverke had any intent to kill when he set the apartment fire. The governor said once Veverka is released from prison, he must agree not to drink and must take his meds. Vilsack also has denied a Boone man’s request for leniency after the board of parole unanimously voted against Chad Kepple’s early release on a second-degree robbery conviction.
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