Branstad Denies Commutation Requests

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad has denied the applications of 18 inmates seeking commutation, including requests from three cases out of Pottawattamie County.

The governor made the announcement Thursday in a news release.

The individuals seeking commutation are serving sentences ranging up to life in prison. Convictions cover crimes ranging from robbery to kidnapping and murder. The inmates range in age from 24 to 66.

The governor did not provide any other details about his decision.

Here is the list of applications and denials:


  • James Eaglefeather, age 34, committed his crimes on October 6, 1998, in Pottawattamie County. He is currently serving a term of incarceration not to exceed twenty-five years for Robbery – 1st degree.
  • Danny Ray Long, age 39, committed his crimes on or about December 11th and 18th, 1998, in Pottawattamie County. He is currently serving a term of incarceration not to exceed fifty years for two counts of Robbery – 1st degree.
  • Steven G. Sempek, age 46, committed his crimes on April 1, 1998, in Pottawattamie County. He is currently serving a 100-year sentence for six counts of Sexual Abuse in the second-degree.
  • LeRoy W. Basham, age 64, committed his crime on March 2, 1987, in Boone County. He is currently serving a life sentence for first-degree murder.
  • James W. Bettis, age 43, committed his crime on September 6, 1988, in Page County. He is currently a life sentence for first-degree murder.
  • Tina M. Bowers, age 44, committed her crimes on about October 1, 1996, in Cedar County. She is currently serving a term of incarceration not to exceed fifty years for four counts of second-degree Sexual Abuse; twenty-five year sentences consecutively and two twenty-five year counts concurrently for a total of fifty years with a 70% mandatory.
  • Gerne E. Dryer, age 66, committed his crimes on December 8, 1993, in Dubuque County. He is currently serving a life sentence for first-degree kidnapping and four counts of assault with a dangerous weapon.
  • Brandon S. Horkheimer, age 24, committed his crime on December 30, 2009, in Dubuque County. He is currently serving a term of incarceration not to exceed ten years for Robbery – 2nd degree, 85%.
  • Jennifer L. Kerby, age 32, committed her crime on September 28, 2000, in Polk County. She is currently serving a term of incarceration not to exceed twenty-five years for Robbery – 1st degree, 85%.
  • Murl E. McMullin, age 49, committed his crime on June 4, 1986, in Linn County. He is currently serving a life sentence for first-degree murder.
  • Emanuel Myers, Jr., age 41, committed his crime on June 10, 2007, in Johnson County. He is currently serving a term of incarceration not to exceed ten years for Robbery – 2nd degree (85%).
  • Robert L. Pate, age 39, committed his crimes on February 1, 2000 and October 4, 2007, in Polk County. He is currently serving a term of incarceration not to exceed seventy-five years for second-degree Controlled Substance and Prohibited Acts – Controlled Substance (cocaine).
  • Derome Robertson, age 36, committed his crime on November 14, 1996, in Linn County. He is currently serving a term of incarceration not to exceed twenty-five years for first-degree robbery.
  • Kenneth Allen Todd, age 53, committed his crime on September 18, 1982, in Polk County. He is currently serving a life sentence for first-degree murder.
  • David Tomlinson, age 40, committed his crimes on May 22, 1998, in Tama County. He is currently serving a life sentence plus fifty-five years for first-degree murder, second-degree murder (85%), and flee state to avoid prosecution.
  • Simon C. Tunstall, age 58, committed his crime on August 31, 1986, in Woodbury County. He is currently serving a life sentence for first-degree murder.
  • Mark A. Wilder, age 38, committed his crimes on July 11, 2002, in Black Hawk County. He is currently serving a term of incarceration not to exceed thirty years for first-degree robbery (85%) and escape of a felon.
  • Arthur Lee Williams, Jr., age 65, committed his crime on May 31, 1972, in Black Hawk County. He is currently serving a life sentence for first-degree murder.


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