The West Hollywood arrest of Kendall Jenner’s stalker occurred Sunday evening shortly after she arrived at her new home. According to the LAPD, Jenner pulled up to her home in West Hollywood while the suspect, Shavaughn McKenzie, 25, stood outside. Immediately after pulling in, McKenzie entered the property before the private gate closed and attempted to talk to Jenner. Frightened, she immediately dialed 911 while remaining in her vehicle.
LAPD officers arrived shortly and arrested McKenzie. He was charged with one count of felony stalking and is currently being held in lieu of 180,000 bail. McKenzie apparently had another warrant out for his arrest, though it is unknown what for.
Stalking is covered under California Penal Code 646.9 PC and is described as repeatedly following, harassing, and/or threatening someone to the point where they fear for their life. California’s stalking laws are relatively new, having only been enacted by the legislature in the 1990s after the stabbing of Theresa Saldana and death of Rebecca Schaeffer. The attackers in these cases were obsessed fans. It’s unknown what, if any, relationship McKenzie had with Jenner or why he attempted to speak with her outside her home.
While celebrity cases have the highest profile when it comes to stalking, they account for a very small portion of stalking charges. The majority of which tend to stem from ordinary people finding themselves the victims of domestic violence, workplace stalking and cyberstalking.
646.9 PC can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances of the case. Stalking will automatically be charged as a felony if it is in violation of a court order or if the defendant has a previous stalking conviction. Misdemeanor stalking penalties include informal probation, up to 1 year in county jail, a fine of up to $1,000, counseling or confinement in a mental hospital and/or a restraining order forbidding contact with the victim.
Felony charges carry the possible penalties of formal probation, 16 months to 5 years in California state prison, a $1,000 fine, counseling, possible confinement in a state mental institution and/or a restraining order.