Alleged Kennedy Stalker Rejects Plea Deal, Will Stand Trial
By Kiratiana Freelon on February 14, 2011 12:54pm
By Shayna Jacobs
MANHATTAN CRIMINAL COURT — A man charged with stalking Caroline Kennedy's daughter rejected a plea offer from prosecutors Monday because it would put an end to his hopes of becoming a cab driver, his lawyer explained.
Naeem Ahmed, 41, a naturalized citizen from Pakistan, could have been released on time served after spending two months behind bars if he had taken the plea, and would have gotten three years probation and mandatory psychiatric treatment, prosecutors said.
But Ahmed's lawyer Gerald Hertz said his client opted out of the plea because the conviction would stop him from making a living as a cab driver, adding that Ahmed was one day away from receiving his license when he was arrested on Dec. 8.
Ahmed was found fit to stand trial by court psychiatrists last week, prosecutors revealed Monday.
Ahmed told one doctor he apologizes "from the bottom of my heart" and claimed he was never told to stop sending gifts to Tatiana Schlossberg, the granddaughter of John F. Kennedy.
"I love them," Ahmed said of the Kennedy family, according to the report.
The alleged crazed fan, who faces harassment and stalking charges, has been behind bars since his arrest because he was first unable to make bail and was then denied bail while he waited for psych tests.
Prosecutors said he sent 40 e-mail, notes and gifts to Schlossberg, declaring his love for her and referring to himself as her "hubby."
His lawyer maintains Ahmed's innocence, claiming the Kennedy family did not object to his sending gifts and letters.
"They were encouraging it by accepting flowers by accepting the candy. Why not send it back?" Hertz said.
Hertz compared his client's behavior to the kind of actions any normal person would do on Valentine's Day, Hertz told the judge in arguing for a reduced bail.
"On Valentine's Day many people would go to jail doing what he did," the lawyer said.
Prosecutors said Ahmed's obsessive behavior continued even after a security guard working for the family told him to stop sending notes.
Ahmed was ordered held on $20,000 bail. His lawyer said it is unlikely he will be able to afford it.