SEX OFFENDERS: Call For Harsher Penalties

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The parents of Kathlynn Shepard, who was kidnapped and killed last year by a registered sex offender, brought their concerns to the Statehouse Thursday morning to change current laws about sex offender punishments.

“There is no reform for these cowards for these monsters that are out preying on our children, they are going to do it again and again and again, “says Denise Shepard, Kathlynn’s mother.

The kidnapper, Michael Klunder, was sentenced to 41 years in prison on previous kidnapping charges. However, Klunder only served half of his sentence and was let out early because of good behavior.

Klunder took his own life following the abduction of Shepard and Dezi Hughes last May. Hughes was able to escape from Klunder.

Thursday the Shepard and Hughes families urged lawmakers to get rid of the good behavior credit and implement harsher punishment for those types of charges.

"There should be no time off for good behavior that’s something that you give a child not something that you give an adult that’s already in prison, they’re there for a reason," says Shepard.

Representative Chip Baltimore signed off the amended bill, hopeful that other legislators will too.

“Hindisght tells us had he not been given good time credit he would still be in prison, Kathlynn would still be alive and Dezi would not have had to go through what she went through,” says Baltimore.

Also, never before mentioned, the Shepard family said before Klunder kidnapped the two girls, he first tried to lure the Shepard's youngest daughter into his truck.

The subcommittee will process the changes Thursday. The decision to pass the bill along to the next level of lawmakers could happen as early as next week.


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