Bad law? Juror explains Kitze's stalking acquittal

Ken Klug went into the jury room August 7 convinced that Jeffrey Kitze was guilty of stalking. The 69-year-old retiree was chosen foreman and immediately polled the other six jurors to see if they agreed. They didn't.

"I was the only one," says Klug, who says fellow jurors used such terms as "inappropriate" over and over in describing Kitze's behavior, along with "out of bounds" and "wrong." But such behavior didn't amount to stalking, and eventually the foreman joined in the unanimous verdict: acquittal.

Klug explains that the law calls for two separate missteps. First, the errant behavior must happen on more than one occasion. And while the jury agreed that Kitze's act of entering Jennifer Connor's house one Valentine Day could fall under stalking-statute behavior, they didn't have another occasion that did.

More importantly, the jurors didn't think Connor's level of fear met the statute's demand that an accused "knows or reasonably should know that the conduct places that other person in reasonable fear of death, criminal sexual assault, or bodily injury...," according to Klug.

"She never came out and said those three things," says Klug. "I can empathize with Connor and see where the fear might have been real and dangerous to her; but she did not, nor did the prosecutor, paint a picture to the jury that would define her fear as the law requires it to be defined."

That's why, Klug says, he penned the statement the jury sent the judge, about the "principle of jury nullification." Klug says while he and the other jurors wanted to convict Kitze of something, the stalking law didn't address "seriously inappropriate behavior."

What the jury didn't know was that Kitze, 51, had been convicted of the brutal rape and beating of his sister's college roommate the day after both women graduated from UVA Law School in 1989. "We only knew he'd been in prison 20 years," says Klug.

The former controller of a publishing house in San Diego, Klug says he considered the letters Kitze sent Connor from prison "damning," but he says the female jurors pointed out that the letters were sent after the alleged stalking incident. Moreover, even when Connor learned of Kitze's rape conviction and was advised by Joe Szakos at Virginia Organizing to "run," says Klug, that's what made Connor probably fearful.

"It wasn't his actions," says Klug, "it was his prior sentence." He says the jury narrowed its focus on his actual behavior toward the young woman.

"I felt bad for Connor," says Klug. "I had to look her in the eye. There's no question we were with her– but the law wasn't."


What are the odds that the defendant develops a fixation on one of these female jurors?

After all, they must really like him if they acquitted him of this charge.

This guy will offend again.

These laws need to be re-written, anyone up to it?

Talk about messed up. I am angry that the law is protecting the accused more than the victim.

Another example of a panel victimizing the victim. They say his behavior was inappropriate. If he had raped her,they would have said she didn't do enough to stop it. If he had killed her .... they would have said the warning signs were there.

Rob Bell seems to think he is a champion for abused women --- write him and get him to tighten the law. Or does he need a mom to do it and then steal the language and pretend he sponsored the bill?

How unfortunate for the victim. I am so sorry this happened. I had a stalker this summer and was able to video the last 2 minute encounter. I was protected because I had evidentiary support.

UVA seems to attract bad Karma these days. I blame Dragas. Karma is very powerful; just ask the Jones'.

Bad choices. Some bad people. Bad BoV. There will be a microscope over the U for a long time.

I hope UVA can right this ship, and create a better "brand" than what Dragas has left us.

Once again the system fails the victim. It is disgusting that the legal profession works overtime to set violent goons like Kitze and Huguely free.
Maybe Kitze will stalk the wrong person next time and get fed a hot lead sandwich.

Buddy Weber finally wins a case!

Courtney's Mom, how about an alleged stalking incident where a person has video equipment available to him, at his request, so as to document alleged stalking, and yet has not one iota of videotaped evidence when asking the magistrate for a stalking warrant. And successfully gets said stalking warrant I might add. If you were a jury member, how would you feel about this? The charge was laughed out of court, did the criminal justice system work in the true life example I have just listed here?

The stalking law has been one of the most abused laws on the books ever since it was born. And the example above was abuse by none other than a cop. Could have, should have, had the means to..... but no video tape whatsoever.

For anyone who has been a victim of stalking, laws should be in place Gasbag. Recall the DC Sniper(s) - that was stalking at its most dangerous. The trouble with the laws put into place is there is always some attorney out there who finds a twist to negate it or work it in their clients favor.

There have been far too many women who have been stalked and the results were their murder in the end. Driving by someone's home once a week or every day, even twice a day because it is their route to work is one thing but to sit outside their home/business. This dude will rape again.

C'ville Native, The DC sniper wasn't doing anything even remotely similar to stalking as it's meant in this case or even as it's meant in your second paragraph. Laws pertain to specific actions and intents. Defense lawyers ask if the specific actions and intents of the accused match those that a law makes illegal and if they don't they try to convince a jury of that. If the accused hasn't done anything illegal, then the accused has every right to go free.

Do I recall the D C sniper? That's is absolutely hilarious!!! I was reported as a suspect when that mess was going on. Probably by one of the cops I had just sued. The ATF agent took me to lunch. All I had to do was explain to her why somebody in Charlottesville or Albemarle County would have an ulterior motive in reporting me as a suspect. She was well entertained during her trip to Charlottesville to investigate the sniper case. To quote her...... "some (expletive) cop wasting MY TIME!!!!"

I am a frequent flyer in the Pantops Mountain area. Always have been since it's in the area in which I live. Always will be. Even the rookie cops assigned to the area now in 2012 can verify my frequent flyer miles traveling in the Pantops Mountain area right now. They know me and my cars. But passing by a cop 5 or 6 times in traffic over a few months in 1997, a cop that I had just beat up in court, this frequent passing by him was the majority of his basis in issuing yet another false arrest charge against me, namely stalking!!! One time when I passed by him, myself and a marked county police car were on the way to the magistrate's office. Even though I was out of my jurisdiction, I had just stopped a drunk driver and took her keys away from her. This girl was all over the road, worst case of DUI I had ever seen in my decades of service. The marked county police car behind me was transporting the suspect. But no, the cop we passed by twisted it into my stalking him (true story). The charge was laughed out of court. When I say laughed out of court, I mean laughed. The judge had an extremely hard time hiding his laughter during some of the so-called testimony against me.

By the way, the drunk driver ran over and killed 2 or 3 people in Henrico County a few years after the above arrest took place.

But again, stalking, one of the most abused laws on the books!!!

I can't wait until Gasbag's story is made into a movie. I'll put on autoplay on a dedicated TV and won't ever have to read it again!

CC, I'm sorry. But when I claim the stalking laws are abused, I really should provide an example of why the statement is true if I can. It can't just be presented as an opinion. What better example can be there other than a cop abusing the stalking law?

Furthermore, if some loose cannon cops intentionally abuse the stalking laws, don't you think these same loose cannons issue bad advice to citizens in directing them to run down and obtain a stalking warrant?

ps - in my many years in a courtroom, and hearing a 100+ stalking cases, I would estimate that about 85% of these stalking charges never should have been written in the first place. Most of the magistrates never understood the law as clearly as the judges did.

Back in my high school days, we had a "crush" on girls. Nowadays it's magically called stalking.

Muhammad's ex-wife, lived near the Capital Beltway where most of the shootings occurred and he was going to kill her and the DC Sniper(s) would be blamed. He believed he could blend in and the murder wouldn't be connected to him. (I so recall this because a co-worker lived near the Post Office in MD and we had a vendor who was targeted because they used white vans to deliver their goods in Richmond Va. No one was getting gas - it was insane!)

About 76% of women murdered by their intimate partners were stalked by them prior to their murders. That is a fact in Virginia.

Gasbag, if someone is on a public street driving by even 30 times a day for whatever reason that is freedom to do what you want. Stalking should be clarified as unwanted attention to someone. My ex used to show up at my place of business for no other reason than to harass me. It was unwanted, unnecessary and threatening. There were no laws. He even threatened to kill me but there was nothing I could do. For the record he is still a deadbeat and a liar and karma is getting him back ten fold. (And I am enjoying hearing about it too.)

Point here - is it is needed and perhaps women and men should be educated that if some one is doing something that makes you feel uncomfortable - showing up at your place of business, calling you 30 times a day - you need to tell them to stop. If they continue, then it becomes something the authorities are brought into. Sort of like trespassing. If someone comes to your home that is fine but if you don't want them there and tell them never to come on your property again - then you can obtain a trespassing warrant vs. them.

I am just asking for reasonable laws from irrational law makers...

There is a va statute that covers telephone harassment

Didn't this man walk into her home without being invited, left some chocolates or flowers....c'mon, that's breaking and should have been part of the charges. Bottom Line -- this man had a fixation on this woman. It's called stalking. The Jury Blew it. Women in Charlottesville are not safe because there's always a liberal lawyer wanting to get some jerk his freedom.

PS - Ladies ... Take this advice from someone who has been there and lost ... from this point forward, do not consult a cop or the Commonwealth Attorney. Let your "friends" take care of it!

Simply Said, I thought a rant against liberals was supposed to have them wanting to take freedom away.