PAROLE BOARD: Hospice Release For Dying Inmate

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A convicted murderer dying of breast cancer is being given a compassionate release to hospice care.

In 1995 Kristina Fetters was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for murdering her great aunt. Fetters was 14-years-old at the time of the crime.

Her sentence was recently reviewed and changed to life in prison with the possibility of parole.

In September doctors diagnosed her with inoperable Stage Four breast cancer.

Friends and family had been urging the parole board to release her so she can spend her final days with her family.

After hearing from a doctor who had reviewed her case, a family member, and a victim who released a statement in a closed session the Board of Parole decided to release Fetters to hospice care.

A number of things played into the board's decision.

A doctor reviewing the case says Fetters is responding to cancer treatment while at the prison hospice facility. However, the board agreed she would receive better care on the outside.

The board also considered her behavior inside prison. Board members noted she hadn't been a model inmate in prison and hadn't gone through re-entry programs. But they determined she wasn't a threat to society due to her condition.

We spoke to Nancy Olson, who is Fetters’ aunt. She was in tears after the parole board granted Kristina her release.

“This has been a 19 year old tragedy for my family. This will bring closure for my family. This will help us all cope a little bit better with the situation,” says Olson.

Fetters was not present at the hearing. She was at the prison in Mitchellville with her mother when the decision was made.

The board made it very clear that this release was to hospice care only. If her condition was to improve and she was no longer eligible for hospice care, her case would be reviewed.

The board would then determine whether to release her or return her to prison.

The conditions of Fetters’ release still need to be finalized and approved by the 5th Judicial District. It could be up to two weeks before Fetters is moved to hospice care.


  • Jake

    What makes her so special that she deserves the right to spend the rest of her days outside prison walls??? I know people that was convicted of much lesser crimes and got cancer & still had to die in prison!!! She was convicted of first degree murder, So hey sorry about your condition but suck it up behind bars” Lets face it did her poor aunt that she stabbed to death have a fair chance at all???

    • Patricia Caviness

      How did you become so hard and cruel you ask where was God ,you must believe Jesus would give this woman a release into hospice ,she was 14 at the time and not fully and adult .Thats why 14 year olds can not consent to having sex with and adult ,because their minds are not mature enough to make that decision ,how is this any different ? It makes me sick when our system disregards the age of a person comminting a crime ,if they are 14 and normally would be charged as a juvenile ,how can they all of a sudden be thought of as older depending on the crime ,this is not right .

  • jane

    I agree. There are so many people who die in prison due to cancer and they don’t get released. Kinda sad this happened because this will set the precedence for future cases. Is just wrong

  • Kathi Lott

    sorry to say this but hope she dies before ever making it to hospice on the outside. she is fine where she is at. in prison where she belongs. now i want to know does this mean every inmate dying of cancer should be released. plenty have died of cancer in prison and she isnt no diffrent. she should as well.

  • Kathi Lott

    and is the family going to take over her medical payments? they should since she is bring released it shouldnt be on the state or us tax payers any more to pay for her. the family wanted her out then they should have to pay any and all medical bills here on out. no help from the state or us tax payers.

  • Melanie Bieker (@Melanie_Marie__)

    Guys, its not like I can’t understand what you are saying..In fact, it makes sense. But imagine if this was your child. Sure, they are guilty and maybe they deserve to die in prison, but you all would be liars if you said you wouldn’t want your child to die outside the walls of prison. I truly hope none of you ever find yourselves in circumstances like this. You would want mercy for your loved ones as well. Think about that before you post comments like this.

      • Patricia Caviness

        An old woman once told me be careful about throwing stones at other people s children ,why would you curse your children with such a comment about that would not happen if it were your child .I fully believe you asked for a curse on them .You do not know what your child may do or not do ,don’t flaunt your self satisfied attitude at the universe it does not like that .

    • Myra Sawyer

      Thank you, Melanie, I agree with you, and it’s my understanding that she is a Christian and knows God, I’ve kept up with this case and what saddens me is all the negative judgemental comments, not just because it hurts the family but because of the hate in people’s hearts ….every situation is different,
      God listened to a lot of prayers for this young lady, if he didn’t want her out, she wouldn’t be….. Our life here is short….don’t risk your own salvation with hate and judgement….really?? People may risk going to hell because they have hate and judgement in their hearts while Kristina may be dancing on Streets of Gold…..amazing…I pray for those people who are showing this judgement….may God forgive you….

  • Kathi Lott

    @melanie bieker i do have 2 brothers both in prison one for 1st degree murder and another for 1st degree robbery kidnapping and a list mile long. been locked up all his life. neither of them deserve to be released even if dying of cancer. they did there crime and prison is where they can die. my one brother does have a terminal illniss and being where he is at is right where he deserves not on the outside. he dont desrve it. neither of my brothers deserve freedom no matter the circumstances. sorry if that cold but its how it is.

  • Melanie Bieker (@Melanie_Marie__)

    You can your view point. To an extent, I even agree with you, though not entirely. I am just glad the parole board saw it the other way. This girl was 14 years old. Plus they just passed a law stating life in prison could not be given to juveniles for their crimes which was going to overturn her sentence anyway. So I guess its unfortunate that she was going to be getting out and then got terminally ill. So honestly, she never really got “free” did she?

  • Steve

    I feel sorry for her family but she commited a crime and the sentence that she was given was to die in prision. I do not understand how they can justify letting her out.

    • Patricia Caviness

      Steve you will never be able to understand anything if you can not understand why a child commited at 14 should not be kept in prison for life especially when they are dying ,you have my sympathies

  • kayla

    She was 13 when she committed the crime and if her family isn’t holding that tragedy against her why shld anyone else? She was a kid. Does it make it right a HELL no! But the women is dying. She isn’t actually free

  • Marie Catlover

    This person being released is getting special treatment that I feel should not be given unless this is something granted to others on a consistent basis. Allowing her family in to the prison to be with her while she dies would be more fair. I was very shocked and surprised that this release was given, and I too hope she dies before getting to the hospice house. Sounds cold I know, but so was what this woman did.

  • MaryCannon Derisory Apodaca

    What happened to the person or persons who kidnapped and raped this girl? Her childhood was stripped from her… is it any wonder she became violent. People keep harping that she knew right from wrong. Yes, of course she did, but no one seems to care that her life was destroyed by a rapist prior to her acting out in a violent manner. I am furious with WHO news for continuing to fuel the controversial fires by calling this young woman a murderer, rather than simply stating that she was convicted of murder as a 14 year old. Yes, she killed. Yes it was murder. But damn it, REPORT the facts. ALL of the facts. Not just those that will make the woman appear to be a heartless cold blooded killer.
    She was kidnapped.
    She was raped.
    She was emotionally disturbed.
    She NEEDED help dealing with what had happened to her.
    She reacted in a violent manner.
    She took a life.
    She was 14 years old… NOT 24….
    She is now dying.
    She certainly deserves some compassion,
    as does her Mother and other family who love her.

    I cannot believe how cold, unforgiving and ignorant the majority of the people who are commenting here are.

    THIS, is NOT my Iowa.

  • hippie

    Tbose of you who are preaching msybe ought to stop and think. Perhaps He is passing sentence before she is released on parole.

    • Marie Catlover

      You are absolutely right!! If this “special favor” is being granted to this killer, then it’s only fair to do this for others from now on. When a sentence says you are to die in prison, that’s exactly what it means!!! I am VERY disappointed in the State of Iowa Parole Board for making this exception. It’s just not fair to others that have died in prison before her and those that will die in prison after her! The fair thing would be for her to leave this world before actually getting released. I wonder how the people working at whatever Hospice House she’s going to be going to feel about this. Don’t they have the ability to refuse people if they feel somebody could be a danger to others in the house? Even if she isn’t a danger, it’s just the idea of putting somebody like this in a place where other people and their loved ones are dealing with something so difficult. Why should they be inflicted with this?? Would you want YOUR loved one dying in a Hospice House with this person living there?

  • Jody J Ratcliff

    OH MY GOSH !!! THIS “GIRL” Was 14 Yrs. Old When this Crime Was Committed. People Make Mistakes. KIDS Make Mistakes !! God Says To Forgive!! She Was Way to Young to Be Sentenced to Such a thing !! There has to be Mentality Problems with this? CONFIDENTIAL MATERIAL!! .. I Totally am in AWE of this Situation with this Young Woman!! And Sorry, but I am looking at this as “her” being 14 years old!! God Says to Forgive!! You all need to Bow Your Heads, Pray for Forgiveness to Even Think Such a Thing for Kristina !! I Pray for Kristina’s Family that Faith, Love and Healing will get “You” all through this Horrible Mistake this Girl Made at Such a YOUNG AGE !!

  • Danielle

    Let her rot. That poor elderly woman didn’t get to die with family and friends. She died a horrid, painful, terrorizing and awful death. Begging for her life the whole time from this monster. Piss on her… burn in hell…

  • Nikki

    Agree Jody!!! We have all done terrible things, it may not be to this extreme, JESUS died on the cross for ALL our sins regardless of what we did! Let’s not be so quick to judge! If you take away the fact that this women is terminally ill no one would be hearing a word about it. Many young adults who commit severe crimes get released after being sentenced to life without parole!!! I can look back on several!!! Take a step back and pray that you have your family members close by your side these holidays regardless of the crimes they have commit and thank The Lord for forgiving them!

  • hope history doesn't repeat itself

    Yup she can be charming, etc. Yup she was on Prozac. Not an overdose amount mind you. Yup she was 14. And yup she killed her aunt because when she ran away from Orchard Place, she went to the one person who cared for her most of her life since her mom couldnt (but thats a seperate story). And only when she was told “no” that day when she asked her Great Aunt for money and she new she would be turned in and sent back into placement. She chose to hit her in the head with a frying pan and stabbed her repeatedly. Now picture the one person in your life who cared about you the most. Who loved you the most, who did anything they could for you. Maybe your mom, grandma, sister or aunt. Now imagine your Kristina Fetters in that moment if being told “no”…….

  • Lori

    I Knew Kristina when she committed this crime and she would be the first to take ownership of her choices and mistakes. She was a troubled child when this happened and suffered severe trauma, one a child should never have to suffer. If I was raped and kidnapped as an adult I doubt I would be mentally tough anymore…. Let alone being a child and dealing with such an awful situation. I can’t imagine killing someone I love but psychosis and stress can do some strange things to us humans. She hasn’t seen life outside of prison since she was 15 years old. I’m glad she is granted some peace in her final days.

  • Jode Sue

    To the OMG person – Well OMG she has had over 15 years in prison to grow up and treat people with respect. She had continued to be a trouble maker in prison causing problems for those who work there – and continued cost to tax payers. Some people learn a lesson in prison, she just did not happen to be one of them. I can think of a few other people that got raped, and crappy childhood, that have been “model” prisoners that should be out before her. She has had the past few months to be with her prison friends and family. She could be on stronger pain meds at Iowa City, but she choose to go back to prison to be with her friends. Why aren’t you reporting this part of the story if you want the whole story out.

    • Patricia Caviness

      If parents and society only understood that they created this girl she is the sum total of her ineraction with the world ,she was not born to kill .such a cold nasty harsh people some of you are ,so uncaring and unthinking .shame on you all

  • Jode Sue

    You say she was raped – like it was a horrible thing and if true, I agree that it was – do you believe all other rapist, robbers and murders and all the other people who committed horrible actions should be out to spend the holidays with their families too, or just the ones you choose to forgive?. It sounds like you felt the RAPE had something to do with her actions – her crimes both in and out of prison, have long reaching consequences on a lot of people too. I am not minimizing a rape in any way. Just the logic of your argument for someone who has continued to cause problems throughout her life and putting prison staff and others in danger. Why did she kill her aunt and they didn’t kill her friends relative? Easier target since I doubt her aunt raped her – why not kill her rapist and steal from him? I know she would be getting my support if she did that.

  • Jode Sue

    BTW do you all know there was another woman murder got married a few weeks ago in prison. They don’t want to advertise that either. (Carlisle murder) who met her husband on a state issued computer she was able to use in prison – nice
    Anyone feeling sorry for all the victims living on life support or in a nursing home for the rest of their lives because they were not actually murdered – just left to die – some younger than 13 years and some for more than the 15 plus years she has had to spend in prison. Where was God when all of these people where begging for help? God if you believe, created the people who build the prisons and the Judges who sentence inmates too – why are you judging them?

  • Steve

    So… All you bleeding hearts, if your loved one was murdered by a 14 year old then you would want them to go free with no punishment because they are only 14? I don’t buy it. If someone does me wrong I want them punished and harshly. I’ll leave it up to God to forgive.

    • Michael

      I didn’t realize that 15 years in prison was “no punishment”. I hope god god judges you likewise. Now go and keep pretending to be a good person for Christmas…

  • shannon

    As a mother, I am glad her mother is able to spend this time with her. I know I would want to if it were my child. But I also wonder, if this were a man, would he have gotten the same outcome?? And how can the parole board deny anyone in the future if they are in the same situation?

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