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Iowa Governor defends release of violent criminal Kirk Levin


DES MOINES, IA (WTAQ) - Iowa Governor Terry Branstad is defending the release of a man who allegedly killed his mother, and who kidnapped another woman just 36 hours after he got out of prison.

Branstad spokesman Tim Albrecht said officials had identified 21-year-old Kirk Levin – a former Wisconsin convict – as somebody who needed special attention. That’s why the corrections department notified Levin’s previous victims, plus the sheriff at his new home, before he was allowed to leave prison.

Albrecht said the state had no legal basis to confine Levin once his prison term ended for a burglary conviction – even though officials found a notebook in which he wrote about his fantasies involving rape.

Albrecht served two years of a five-year sentence, and it was shortened under a law that gives offenders extra credit for each day they serve.

Lewin is charged with killing his mother Marilyn Schmitt, and then used rope to drive away with another female acquaintance.

But he crashed his car soon afterward, and authorities later found him hiding in a barn.

Previously in Wisconsin, Levin was sent to prison three years ago for a car theft conviction in Dane County. In that case, authorities said they caught Levin hiding in the home of a girl he was planning to kidnap and rape.