The Iowa Supreme Court has ruled a former Iowa State University student who committed murder when she was 17 is not yet eligible for parole. Yvette Louisell was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole in the 1987 death of Keith Stillwell. She had met Stillwell in an art class where she was a nude model.
Story County District Court judge James Ellefson changed her sentence to 25 years after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling throwing out life sentences without parole for minors. That new sentence would make Louisell, who is now 44, eligible for parole.
The Iowa Supreme Court ruled sentences are set by the legislature and parole issues are decided by the Board of Parole, so the district court did not have the authority to set the 25-year sentence. The Supreme Court sent the case back to district court where it says Louisell should be sentenced to life in prison with the chance for parole.
Here’s the full ruling: Louisell ruling PDF