FORT SMITH, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — In February 1981, a man armed with a toy water pistol robbed an Arkansas restaurant of $264. Now, Rolf Kaestal is asking for clemency, again, after being incarcerated for 40 years.
Kaestel was sentenced to life in prison and a $15,000 fine for aggravated robbery on June 5, 1981, in Sebastian County.
The man who managed Senor Bob’s Taco Hut, and handed Kaestel the money during the robbery, has recommended his release. Dennis Schluterman appealed to then-Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe and made the below YouTube video on October 29, 2014.
Kaestel is awaiting a decision from Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson on another clemency application. The governor has a bit more than 90 days to make a decision. In 2015, Hutchinson denied Kaestel clemency.
Kaestel is part of the Arkansas Department of Corrections’ Interstate Compact and is now housed in Utah, for about the past two decades. According to ADC’s website: The Interstate Compact staff serves as the communication liaisons between Arkansas offices and out-of-state offices and are responsible for processing the initial investigation requests for transfer of supervision from and to other states, progress reports, and extraditions. The Compact Office also provides official notice of the Probation/Parole officer’s acceptance or rejection of the offenders for interstate transfer of supervision.
According to the Arkansas Department of Corrections’ website, it appears Kaestel never violated prison rules during his four decades as an inmate.