Ex-Student Pleads Guilty to Stalking Teacher

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI — Tammy Dickinson, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a former student at the University of Missouri-Kansas City has pleaded guilty in federal court to cyber stalking a faculty member.

Kenna Haight, 27, of Virginia Beach, Virginia, a former student at UMKC, pleaded guilty before U.S. Chief District Judge Greg Kays on Aug. 14, 2014, to the charge contained in a Dec. 11, 2013, federal indictment.

Haight repeatedly sent e-mail messages to a UMKC instructor from Oct. 1, 2013, to Dec. 11, 2013, which she admitted would be reasonably expected to cause substantial emotional distress to the instructor or her family. Haight admitted that her messages and attempts to communicate with the instructor were done despite repeated requests from the instructor herself, UMKC administrators and law enforcement officers to stop.

On Oct. 4, 2013, the instructor obtained an ex parte order of protection, which prohibited Haight from communicating in any way with the instructor and included specific orders to not threaten or harass the instructor. On Nov. 21, 2013, FBI agents interviewed Haight. Haight admitted sending the e-mails to the instructor. Haight was instructed again to stop trying to contact the instructor.

On Dec. 3, 2013, Haight called and made a false report to the Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline. As a result of that report, a social worker interviewed the instructor and the instructor’s children about the false complaint, causing them substantial emotional distress.

The e-mails Haight sent to the instructor included the following comments, among many other threatening statements:

  • “I keep having homicidal fantasies that keep me up at night around you.”
  • “Am I in the backseat of your car ready to slit your carotid artery? Am I in the closet at your house? Am I underneath your car ready to cut your Achilles heel? Are your lug nuts secure on your car??”
  • “I don’t deal with anger and irritation well … people who cross me wind up living to regret it. Want to be on my list???”
  • “I seriously want to hurt you, you know that?”
  • “… you may find yourself tied to your own bed in your own home begging for mercy. Or having your tongue cut out and your spinal cord cut paralyzing you for life so that you can never walk or speak again. Who knows what the universe has in store for you. If someone invades your home and cuts out your tongue … not my fault. Wishful thinking.”

Under federal statutes, Haight is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of one year in federal prison, up to a sentence of five years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000.

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