Man given life sentence for robbing taco shop with water pistol set to be freed

The Arkansas man who was given a life sentence for robbing a taco shop with a water pistol is set to be freed. 

In 1981, Rolf Kaestel robbed a Fort Smith, taking $264 using a water pistol. At the time, Kaestel was convicted of aggravated robbery and was handed a life sentence, as Unilad reports.

Credits: Arkansas Dept of Corrections

Through the years, the now 70-year-old man has made five bids for clemency, fighting for his freedom. Apart from the many criminal justice attorneys who have tried to convince the authorities to release Kaestel, the victim of the robbery has also pushed for his liberation.

After spending 40 years behind bars for robbing a taco shop with a toy gun, Kaestel is finally set to be released. 

As per The Guardian, in his fifth clemency request, the Arkansas man wrote:

“[I] may yet have a few reasonably energetic and productive years remaining to me in which I may still make a truly substantive contribution to society.

I believe that I have demonstrated that I deserve the chance to do so, and I appeal for your consideration and favorable action to allow me to begin a new life. The ends of justice have been served with the unrelenting four decades of my incarceration to date.”

Following Kaestel’s appeal, the governor of Arkansas, Asa Hutchinson, has announced he plans on commuting his sentence, making him immediately eligible for parole.

There will be a 30-day waiting period for public feedback before the governor’s decision is considered final. However, Hutchinson has claimed there have been no objections from law enforcement.

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