Would a man be cut loose like Alicia Keppler? Or would he be sentenced to prison?
A judge set free a South Carolina woman who admitted breaching security at the White House five times since 2016, including during the annual Easter Egg Roll in March.
Alicia Keppler, 32, must return to her home state of South Carolina and is prohibited from returning to Washington, D.C., for a year.
At a sentencing hearing Tuesday, a federal judge ordered Keppler also meet for interviews with the U.S. Secret Service for the next 12 months. The judge said Keppler, who has been held in a Washington jail since her most recent arrest in July, had served a sufficient amount of time in custody.
Keppler admitted a series of recent security breaches, including incursions of White House security perimeters during each of the last two 4th of July holidays.
According to court filings from prosecutors, Keppler also jumped a bicycle rack security barrier in March 2016.
“During that incident, Keppler claimed she lived at the White House,” the court filings said. “Items in her backpack included a bus ticket, a revoked South Carolina concealed weapons permit, a spiral notebook with letters written to an individual named ‘James,’ and the Gettysburg Address. The writings in the notebook did not indicate a motive for the White House penetrations, however, near the end of the writings Keppler mentioned visiting the White House and thoughts of suicide.”
Prosecutors said Keppler’s crime was a “serious one,” because it triggered a major response from law enforcement, endangering the safety of agents and nearby tourists. Prosecutors and defense attorneys said Keppler, who has a young daughter, is battling drug addiction.
“Given the defendant’s long history of erratic behavior and her seeming obsession with gaining access to the White House, the government believes that the defendant would benefit from comprehensive mental health services,” prosecutors said in their court filings.
Keppler’s attorney declined to comment after court proceedings Thursday. Keppler, who wore an orange jail jump suit during today’s proceedings, told the judge, “I’m good,” when asked to speak.
A judge denied prosecutors’ request Keppler be ordered to undergo psychiatric evaulations performed by U.S. Secret Service psychologists.
Keppler is one of at least 22 people prosecuted for breaching security at the White House or US Capitol since 2014, according to a News-4 I-Team investigation. Several of those arrested were repeat offenders, according to court filings reviewed by the I-Team.
We’ll be reading about Alicia again, I’m afraid. Her kind of crazy runs deep. And to make it worse, she has a child.