A man convicted of killing someone he once considered a friend has been released from prison after being paroled.
Troy T. Lee, 39, pleaded his case for release in front of the Iowa Board of Parole on Thursday.
Lee was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and first-degree burglary in the 2004 death of Bryan Hansen, 27, of Fort Dodge.
Hansen's family anticipated making a statement on the hearing Tuesday.
At his hearing, Lee admitted that he shot Hansen on Feb. 4, 2004. He said he had meant to scare Hansen, and believed the gun was unloaded.
He was sentenced to 30 years in prison by the late Judge Allan Goode in 2004.
"It was an absolutely horrible decision," Lee told the Parole Board. "The worst decision I've ever made in my life."
Though he was granted parole, Lee admitted he would have trouble adjusting to being out of prison during his hearing.
"It's been such a long time since I've been out," he said.
Hansen's family told the Parole Board they wanted Lee to stay in prison for the length of his sentence.
Speaking to the board from a video link set up in the Fort Dodge Public Library, Hansen's mother, Linda Goodno, talked about how her son's murder impacted the family.
"No mother should ever have to be told that her only son is dead," she said. "No mother should ever have to call her only daughter to tell her that her brother is dead."
Danielle Carlson, Hansen's sister, said the future of their family changed when her brother was killed.
"(Lee) took my brother away from me," she said. "He took away the chance for (Hansen) to be a father, a grandfather and a husband."
Lee said if he were to be paroled, he would live in either Des Moines or return to Fort Dodge. He added that he had gotten a job while in prison, and that he would be able to be hired full-time if he were released.