Michigan Court Unsure What To Do With 625-Pound Bedridden Bomb Threat Suspect

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

A Michigan court wants to hear a case against a bomb threat suspect but it has a 625-pound problem.

Jeffery Allan Klein, 44, was a smaller man when he allegedly dialed 911 in August 2012 to report a bomb at Cedar Springs Mobile Estates. A police search of the area found nothing suspicious and Klein, who lived in the mobile park, later admitted to making the threat because he was angry at management.

He was charged with making a false bomb threat, but when he appeared outside the courthouse on Sept. 5, 2012, he fell ill and had to be rushed to a nearby hospital.

A week later he appeared in court again where he was told he would face a maximum of 15 years for the bomb threat because he had four prior felony convictions on his record. He was told he would be remanded to jail and then fell ill again. He was taken away by an ambulance.

Two years later, Klein has missed numerous hearings at Kent County Circuit Court before Judge Dennis Leiber and the court issued a warrant for his arrest, MLive reports.

But there’s one problem. The Grand Rapids man, who now weighs 625 pounds, is bedridden. In a letter to the court, Klein included doctor’s notes diagnosing him with a variety of obesity-related illnesses, including diabetes, back pain and COPD.

His attorney, Damian Nunzio, told the judge that the Kent County Fugitive Taskforce has not come to get Klein, who is confined to a special bed that is 5-feet wide. He estimates the cost of moving his client is somewhere between $2,000 and $3,000 and says it would require the help of paramedics.

While Nunzio says he hopes the charges will be dropped, Kent County Assistant Prosecutor James Benison says Klein can get out of the house when it is necessary to do so. Benison says Klein was able to move from Cedar Springs to Grand Rapids last November.

A recent vehicle citation issued to Klein lists his weight as 540 pounds, according to MLive.

“We take this offense seriously,” Benison says of bomb threats. Prosecutors have offered to dismiss the repeat offender's supplemental sentencing if Klein pleads guilty.

Nunzio says that if convicted, Klein would present a myriad of problems for the Kent County Jail and the Michigan Department of Corrections.

Leiber told the attorneys to find a way to resolve the issue by Friday.

Sources: MLive, UPI

Image source: Wikimedia Commons/Chris Potter, CC/Bill Bradford