Arkansas man serving life for water pistol robbery gets clemency nod

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Arkansas Department of Corrections inmate Rolf D. Kaestel, 70.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — An Arkansas man who’s been serving a life sentence for robbing a taco shop in 1981 with a water pistol has moved closer to being eligible for parole.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Thursday announced he intends to make Rolf Kaestel immediately eligible for parole. There’s a 30-day waiting period to receive public feedback before the governor’s decision becomes final.

Seventy-year-old Kaestel was convicted of aggravated robbery and sentenced to life in prison after he robbed a Fort Smith taco shop of $264. Kaestel was armed only with a water pistol at the time.

Kaestel’s case had received attention nationally from activists.

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