"He referred to Kline's 'long-term prescribed and unprescribed drug use,' a cycle that started when he was nearly electrocuted at work."
Hostage incident: Kline gets 30 years in prison
By JOHN LA PORTE, Times News Editor
Posted: 11/06/2009 08:41:50 AM MST
Hostage-taker Kevin Kline was sentenced Thursday to 30 years in prison for first-degree kidnapping and first-degree burglary.
Morgan County District Court Judge Kevin Hoyer sentenced Kline, 35, of Loveland to 21 years on the kidnapping charge and nine years on the burglary charge, with the sentences to be served consecutively (back to back) rather than concurrently (at the same time).
The consecutive sentences were due to the counts involving crimes of violence.
Restitution is to be determined.
Public defender J. Brandeis Sperandeo presented arguments for a motion he had made to withdraw a plea agreement stipulating to the charges and the sentence. District Attorney Robert Watson said the issue was whether or not Kline was competent to enter a plea and that at his disposition hearing he denied being under the influence of medication or psychological problems.
Hoyer denied the motion to withdraw the plea agreement, saying Kline had appeared lucid at the disposition hearing and had said that he was not under the influence of any substance or having psychological problems that would prevent him from freely entering a plea.
Sperandeo said Kline had been having trouble with depression and pain management issues and had been taking medication for an extended period of time.
He referred to Kline's “long-term prescribed and unprescribed drug use,” a cycle that started when he was nearly electrocuted at work.
Kline faced 17 charges, including one each of attempted first-degree murder and first- and second-degree kidnapping, and has been held in Morgan County jail on $1 million bond since his arrest March 7.
He is accused of holding two hostages at gunpoint for about six hours March 7 at a home near a rural Morgan County residence where his ex-wife, Carrie M. Turner, was staying.
He surrendered after members of the Special Response Team, a special weapons and tactics group of officers from several law enforcement agencies, converged on the area.
Before allegedly invading that home and holding a couple at gunpoint, Kline allegedly tried to break into the home of Turner's parents in Loveland, then allegedly attempted to break into the rural Morgan County home of Turner's sister and her husband, where Turner was staying.
Kline made a statement to the court, describing the mental effects of his substance problems as “like a whirlwind in my head.”
He said of the plea agreement, “To say that I didn't understand it would be a lie. To say that I totally understood it would not be the truth.”
Kline also referred to his ex-wife's family and others “packing the bleachers” in the courtroom, adding,
“That riles me up.”
At the time of the March incident, he said, “I was out of my mind on drugs absolutely out of my mind.”
He added, “I'm not a monster. I'm a guy who has some serious problems. I want to address them.”
Turner's sister, Mackenzie Kembel, addressed the court, saying her daughter told her she was glad she was not home at the time of the attempted break-in because she was not ready to die yet.
“My husband and I can't let our kids go out and play,” she said. “We were violated in a very intense and very real way.”
Kembel said she and her family were getting harassing telephone calls even after Kline was in jail. Kline said during his statement that he did not know what that was about.
Kembel also said that Kline had said when he got out of jail he would finish what he started.
She also took exception to a statement Sperandeo made that Turner participated in some crimes with Kline, saying she was not facing any jail time or charges.
Contact John La Porte at email@example.com.