DES MOINES, Iowa -- Five years ago Ellie Van Dam thought her nightmare was put to bed. "He tormented me, he threatened our lives, my son and my mother`s lives. When the county attorney's office gave Brian Case a forty-five year sentence they were doing me a huge solid. They were giving me a chance at life," said Van Dam.
Brian Case had been out of jail for just four years when he received his forty-five year sentence for shooting his former girlfriend in the head in Des Moines. "Letting him out would be a great risk to this community," said Van Dam to the three panel Iowa Parole Board.
Wednesday he found himself up for parole after serving just four years and seven months.. Van Dam said, "I know he looks like a model inmate on paper but he was a model inmate before. He went back to drugs, tormenting me, and ended up shooting me in the head."
Van Dam pleaded with the board to keep her former boyfriend behind bars. She said, "I fear if you let him out, the next victim won`t be as lucky as I was."
The board sided with Van Dam and denied Case parole. They cited the fact he`s served just 11% of his sentence. "You almost killed somebody. That`s a pretty tough one for us. If it weren't for the surgeon you`d be looking at a murder charge," said one of the board members to Brian Case.
However, the board was pleased with Case`s ability to complete programs in prison that have allowed him to give back to the community. Case said, "I started volunteering for things like Relay for Life, Meals From the Heartland. I raised a dog. So I learned to be compassionate for another living thing."
Case said he`s taking advantage of his sentence. "I can confidently say that I don`t feel that I`m anywhere close or near to the person that got arrested that day," said Case.
Now deaf in her left ear and bullet fragments still in her head, Van Dam will never forget the person Case was on that day five years ago. She said, "Please keep him behind bars so I can finish school and my son can continue to be a child with no worries."
The parole board advised Case to continue to take advantage of prison programs specifically any involving anger management. He will be eligible again in nine months for another parole hearing.