By an overwhelming margin, the Iowa House voted to increase the penalties for kidnapping a child. The bill is intended to address the Kathlynn Shepard kidnapping and murder from last year.
The House version, House File 2253, would require that anyone that kidnapped someone 15 years or under would be guilty of a class “B” felony. A class “B” felony is punishable by up to 25 years in prison. Under the bill, Michael Klunder, the kidnapper of Kathlynn Shepard and her friend Dezi Hughes, would still have been in prison for his previous offenses instead of being released under then current law.
The bill now goes to the Senate. The Senate has also approved a similar version of the bill this week.