CEDAR FALLS, Iowa --- The Iowa Court of Appeals has upheld the life sentence of a former Cedar Falls man who was convicted of first-degree kidnapping in the 1970s.
Keith Wayne Bruns, now 54, had attempted to use a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that held that it was unconstitutional to impose life sentences without parole on defendants who where juveniles when they committed their offenses.
Bruns wasn’t a juvenile at the time of his crime, but in his appeal he attempted to draw parallels with the 2012 Supreme Court opinion because he was a young man of 20.
In a decision handed down Wednesday, the Iowa Court of Appeals turned down his claim, finding that his life sentence without parole didn’t amount to cruel and unusual punishment.
“Bruns was not a juvenile when he committed the crime. For that reason, those opinions are inapposite,” said the ruling, penned by Judge Anuradha Vaitheswaran.
Authorities said Bruns forced a 13-year-old girl into his car in January 1979. He threatened to shoot her and took her to a rural location on Big Woods Road where he raped her in his vehicle.