Kathlynn's Hope Law Gets Overwhelming House, Senate Support
Bills increasing the penalties for child kidnapping have been easily approved in the Iowa Senate and House. Lawmakers backed the bills Tuesday, which were drafted in response to the kidnapping and killing of Dayton teen Kathlynn Shepard last year. The Senate legislation would increase criminal penalties in cases involving children 17 and younger and cases where the person convicted had previously been convicted of kidnapping. The House bill increases penalties in cases involving children 15 and under and would prevent those convicted of certain crimes from reducing sentences through good behavior. Authorities say Shepard was killed by Michael Klunder, a registered sex offender who had been released from prison after serving a reduced sentence. He killed himself after the incident.