MADISON COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - A Harvest man who terrorized a Huntsville TV news reporter has admitted to stalking and harassing the journalist, an ordeal that spanned several months and caused her to live in fear.
The case highlights the dangers members of the media can face working in the public eye.
Scottie Kay is an ambitious and hardworking reporter with WAAY 31 News, the ABC affiliate in Huntsville.
On Thursday, she found herself on the other side of the story as the victim.
She was surrounded by her parents and her boyfriend as her stalker took a plea deal at the Madison County Courthouse.
Thomas Shedd, 56, pleaded guilty to stalking and harassing communications.
It comes after a long nightmare for Kay.
Shedd walked up to her at an event and then became fixated on her. He followed her on all forms of social media and showed up a neighbor's house with her photo from her station's website, demanding to see her.
After posting inappropriate comments on social media, he began delivering gifts to her station, wanting to speak to her.
According to court documents, on or about June 24, 2018, Shedd “intentionally and repeatedly follows, harasses, telephones, or initiates communication, verbally, electronically or otherwise” with Kay, her family and her new station and “causes material harm to the mental or emotional health…or causes such person to reasonably fear that his or her employment, business, or career is threatened.”
It also indicated that Shedd was previously informed to stop his conduct, which included sending Facebook messages and flowers.
It left Kay terrified.
She filed warrants and Shedd was arrested in September. His mug shot shows what he looked like after meeting Kay’s father when Shedd showed up at the restaurant where the family was eating.
After his guilty plea, Shedd was sentenced to 180 days/6 months on the stalking charge and 90 days on the harassing communications charge.
His sentenced was split and he’ll serve 30 days in the county jail, but only on weekends. He will report to jail for the next nine consecutive weekends. He received credit for 12 days already served in jail after his arrest. The remainder of his sentence was suspended and he’ll do two years on probation. He has to pay a $500 fine and court costs.
Kay declined to comment on Thursday. Shedd’s defense attorney, Nick Lough, also declined an interview.
In October, a judge issued an order prohibiting Shedd from having any contact with Kay and her family members.
“The defendant shall refrain from harassing, alarming, annoying or otherwise threatening or intimidating said victim and her relatives,” the order said.