For the first time since his sentencing Vernon Huser is speaking out from behind bars.
Huser was convicted of First Degree Murder in December for the death of Lance Morningstar.
The former Ankeny resident is upset about a policy that didn’t allow him to see his mother on her death-bed.
For the past three months Huser has been incarcerated at Anamosa State Penitentiary. Last week Huser learned his 89-year-old mother Marjorie wasn’t doing well and had been moved to hospice.
“If you have a mother, moms are moms and you love them and my mom’s been a great mom. She lived a long time and if I could still see her still alive and that meant a lot more to me to if I could see her and talk to her for a half hour,” Huser told Channel 13.
Huser’s attorney requested he be allowed a bedside visit but the Warden denied the request.
“A death in the family is tough in here you’re paralyzed and you can’t do nothing,” Huser said.
The Iowa Department of Corrections says so far in 2014 only four deathbed visits and 23 funeral trips have been granted.
Huser’s request was denied because he hasn’t been an inmate for long enough for a risk assessment to be determined.
Huser was allowed phone calls with his mother and talked to her before she passed away.
“I just said ‘we all love you and you’re going to go be with dad’ and that was about it, that was the last time I talked to her,” Huser said.
Huser added that losing his mom in prison has been especially tough because he doesn’t think he should be locked up to begin with.
“The worst thing that goes over in my mind is I’m innocent, I was railroaded into this deal and here I sit. That was a double whammy on me; being innocent and I shouldn’t be in here, it about drove me crazy,” says Huser.
Huser is hoping prison officials will look into what his attorney calls a “draconian policy” so more inmates are allowed the opportunity to say goodbye to loved ones face to face.
“Down the road, I think it needs to be looked at for everybody but being in prison isn’t real fun and then to go through something like that mental strain, I don’t care how tough you are mentally it will work on you,” Huser said.
Huser is currently appealing his murder conviction. The process could take up to a year and a half to complete.