A Gretna man takes a plea deal in a horrifying stalking case. The victim's family says they're worried their nightmare may be far from over.
Kevin Klingensmith, 32, is being held at the Douglas County Jail and was initially charged with felony stalking and violating a protection order. That's been amended to misdemeanor stalking. Friday he pleads guilty in Sarpy County Court, but doesn't admit to any crime by making an “Alford Plea.”
"With an ‘Alford Plea’ you don't admit any guilt it's basically a best interest plea. I still don't think he did this but he had other motivations of pleading and that was to get out of jail sooner rather than later,” said John Hascall, Klingensmith’s defense.
The victim’s family says in March and April 2015 a man was caught on their rural Gretna property and in at least one instance was banging on the back porch windows. The family put up a trail camera for hunting, and snapped images of the stalker on April 28th.
Prosecutors say a similar photo of Klingensmith helped match the suspect to the crime.
"I'm not scared of him as a person, I'm scared of what he's capable of doing because he doesn't think like the rest of us,” said Chryssi Zeleny, the victim’s mother. “And it's hard when it's your children."
Prosecutors say Klingensmith met the teen when she was 11-years-old while he was a school bus driver, and also used a teacher's email to order photos of the victim from school.
The girl has had an active protection order against him since 2007.
Klingensmith told the judge he's getting treatment for mental illness.
He faces up to 1 year in prison for the conviction. Klingensmith's defense hoped the judge would release him Friday because he's served the same amount of time that he would if given good time on a one year prison sentence. The judge wants to get to the bottom of his mental health issues before lowering his bond, and ordered him to stay in jail until he’s fully evaluated.
The victim's parents say common sense tells them he'll be back.
"We've always been concerned about when he's getting out, that's our main concern for my daughter because I know 100% he's going to be back after her so no matter when he gets out that's our concern," the victim’s father Steve Zeleny explained.
He will be sentenced in March.
The "Alford Plea" means if Klingensmith is charged with stalking again it would be enhanced to a more serious felony.