NBC Affiliate News Anchor Joe Scanlan Pleads Guilty to 3 Charges

The former Nebraska news anchor faces up to more than a year in jail and a fine as high as $2,000.

Former Nebraska news anchor Joseph Scanlan has pleaded guilty to several charges in connection to his December 2023 arrest. Appearing in Buffalo County Court on Thursday, March 21, Scanlan, who worked for Kearney, Nebraska news station KSNB, an NBC affiliate, pleaded guilty to the attempt of a Class IV felony and two counts of intimidation by phone call or electronic communication in Buffalo County Court on Thursday, March 21, according to Central Nebraska Today. As a result of his plea, an original charge of terroristic threats, a felony, was reduced to attempt of a Class 4 felony, a Class 1 misdemeanor.

The former news anchor was arrested back in December after he reportedly threatened a woman. The incidents began in September when Scanlan, 27, began sending the woman various text messages, social media messages and handwritten notes, according to court documents, per KLKN-TV. Although the woman blocked Scanlan on social media, the former news anchor in October used a KSNB account to like her posts and message her. The station fired him as a result of that on Nov. 3, and on Dec. 1, the woman filed for a protection order against Scanlan. The incidents for which Scanlan has been charged happened after the order was issued by a Buffalo County judge on Dec. 4.

A day after the protective order was granted, Scanlan sent the woman an email saying that he was "gonna ruin" her life. In the email, according to an affidavit, Scanlan said, "I want you to know Ill be watching you. I want you to have me in the back of your mind at all times. You'll never know where I am, and Nebraska isn't that far away. I will haunt you the rest of my life."

The affidavit alleged that on the morning of Monday, Dec. 11, Scanlan sent multiple threatening emails, including one reading, "You'd better watch your back because I'm back in Nebraska and one or both of us ain't leaving alive. I promise you I will end your life either psychologically or physically and I'm leaning towards the latter."

An arrest warrant was issued for Scanlan in December. He was booked into the Buffalo County Jail on March 20, entering his guilty plea the following day. KLKN-TV reports that Scanlan faces up to one-and-a-half-years in jail and a fine as high as $2,000. However, depending on the results of the presentence investigation, which will include a psychological evaluation, prosecutors may recommend probation. His sentencing is scheduled for May 30. Scanlan filed bail the amount of $5,000 on March 21 and is set to be released Thursday.