A 625 pound man tells FOX 17 he is unfit for court

Posted at 11:31 PM, Jul 30, 2014
and last updated 2014-07-31 04:52:32-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- One man's weight and health is being blamed for a keeping a two-year-old crime unresolved.

Jeffery Klein weighs 625 pounds and has missed a number of court appearances.  He contacted FOX 17 on Wednesday from a hospital and said he suffered a mild stroke earlier that day.

Klein said his legal battle began two years ago with what he called a "stupid decision."

"I was upset," he said. "I admitted to police that I did a bomb threat over the phone at the Cedar Springs Mobile Home Estates." Klein made the threat in response to fines that were issued to him for littering and other offenses, he said.

Klein has more than legal problems. He has battled weight and health issues all his life.  At 625 pounds, he can't function without pain killers and oxygen tanks, he said.

"It's no excuse for my behavior, but I'm suffering," Klein said. "I'm dying in my own body."

Now his problems are colliding.  The Kent County Court system is growing impatient since Klein has repeatedly missed status conferences on his bomb threat case.

"I got documentation that says I am wheelchair bound or bed bound," he said. But prosecutors said Klein can get around with assistance and therefore he should be able to make it to court.

Klein said in November a warrant was issued for his failure to appear. As a result, "Social Security will stop my SSI disability from coming in," he said.

Klein told us he isn't running from his problems.  He has never tried to hide from police or evade an arrest, he's just not sure if the jail or prison would be equipped to handle him.

He said he plans on paying for his mistakes and encouraged others to learn from the errors of his ways. "It doesn't pay to do anything stupid," he said.  "I'm not looking for anything.  I just want to get all this past me."

Klein said he was told by his lawyer that his bomb threat case may come to a conclusion by Friday, August 1.