Iowa inmate's claim he briefly died won't end life sentence

Benjamin Schreiber, courtesy KCRG

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Appeals Court has ruled against a convicted killer who says he "died" during a medical emergency and thus fulfilled his life sentence.

Wapello County court records say Benjamin Schreiber has been serving the life term since being convicted in 1997 of beating a man to death.

Schreiber says his heart stopped five times on March 30, 2015, at a hospital where he'd been taken from the Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison.

Schreiber filed for release in April 2018, saying that because he momentarily died before being resuscitated at the hospital, he should be freed.

A district judge found little merit in Schreiber's argument, saying Schreiber's filing confirmed that he was still among the living.

The appeals court affirmed that ruling Wednesday, saying: "Schreiber is either alive, in which case he must remain in prison, or he is dead, in which case this appeal is moot."

(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)