GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Prosecutors aren’t buying a 625-pound man’s claims that he’s too heavy to make it to court — and neither is his mother.
Jeff Klein is accused of calling in a bomb threat to a Cedar Springs mobile home park in 2012. If convicted, he could be sentenced to more than 10 years in prison.
For two years, his case has dragged on. He has had one medical episode in court and failed to show up on other occasions. This week, his attorney said the charges against him should be dropped because at 625 pounds, Klein is bedridden and too heavy to make it to court. Prosecutors rejected that claim.
Thursday, Klein’s mother Diane Klein told 24 Hour News 8 her son is just looking for a way to avoid prison.
“He is a con man,” she said.
Thursday, Jeff Klein was a patient at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s in Grand Rapids. He told 24 Hour News 8 in a phone interview that he is in a prison of his own making and shouldn’t have to go to one with barbed wire fences.
His mother said she knows her son is obese, but she felt she had to call 24 Hour News 8 when she heard her son say he can’t walk or get around on his own.
She said he can get around and do things for himself, and he’s only claiming otherwise because “he doesn’t want to go to jail.”
Jeff Klein has been behind bars before, having served time in Michigan and Florida.
“He told me when he got out the last time, he said, ‘Mom, I learned my lesson. I never want to go back in a place like that,'” Diane Klein said.
Jeff Klein told 24 Hour News 8 that he’s not using his weight issue to get out of doing time. He says he can barely walk — though 24 Hour News 8 cameras caught a man who looked a lot like him driving his car on Wednesday.
“I am not supposed to be doing anything, and it’s documented. The courts have all my medical records,” he said.
He said he admits “there’s no excuse … for my behavior,” but seems to be asking for special treatment. He told 24 Hour News 8 house arrest may be a good punishment for his crime.
His mother disagrees, saying she doesn’t think he’s healthy enough for prison — but if he did the crime, that’s where he belongs.
“His punishment, I think, should be jail,” Diane Klein said. “And I say that ’cause look at how many people they’ve been nailing today for these attempted bomb threats. I mean, hey, bomb threats are serious.”