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Jade Tittle, the longtime midday host on 89.3 The Current, is leaving the alternative rock station due in part to a stalker who served time for harassing former Current DJ Mary Lucia.
The decision, Tittle said, has been a while in the making. “It’s various reasons. I’ve had the same job for 15 years and I’m looking for some growth. The stalker does play into it. It’s been three years now (that he’s been harassing me) and I’ve got a month of court cases ahead of me. I’m taking some time to focus on taking care of myself.”
A St. Paul native, Tittle joined The Current as an overnight host in 2008. She was promoted to the midday slot in 2015 and has also spent the past three years serving as the Minnesota Public Radio station’s music director. Friday will be her final shift on air and she’ll continue working at the station until Nov. 10. She is not publicly discussing what her next job will be.
Patrick Henry Kelly, then of Eden Prairie, began stalking Lucia in March 2014, flooding her with a series of emails, gifts and calls to her personal cellphone number. That July, Lucia filed a restraining order against Kelly. In April 2015, Lucia took what became a seven-month leave of absence from the station.
At the time, Lucia wrote on The Current’s website: “My life over the last year has involved a series of restraining orders, seemingly endless calls to 911, the installation of security cameras at home, and police photo ID lineups. I’ve been constantly looking over my shoulder, dead-bolting doors and jumping when someone rings my doorbell or my motion lights go off.”
Five years probation
In December 2015, Kelly was sentenced to five years of probation and nine months in the county workhouse after pleading guilty to stalking and terroristic threats. He was given credit for 6½ months already served in custody, and ordered to pay restitution of nearly $10,000. The convictions were reduced to misdemeanors after he successfully completed probation, which included no contact with Lucia.
Tittle said Kelly first noticed her when she attended one of Lucia’s court appearances to support her friend. “Apparently he saw me and decided at that moment I was next for him. Since then it’s been pretty much nonstop. He spent some time in jail and as soon as he came out, he started up again.”
Much of the harassment has come through letters, Tittle said. “Some are sexual, some are creepy. A lot of it is him believing what I do on air is for him. He’s come to my house numerous times.”
Kelly stopped stalking Lucia, Tittle said, after she left The Current in 2022. “As soon as she was off air, it ended,” Tittle said. “He had been living near her and then he moved closer to me. That’s horrible for me, but it’s a load off her.”
Kelly, now of Apple Valley, was convicted of felony stalking in June 2022, for his behavior toward Tittle, who had filed a harassment restraining order against Kelly in July 2021. A Ramsey County judge sentenced him to 28 months in prison and then stayed the term for four years, during which time he would be on supervised probation. As far as jail time, the judge did not give him any more than the 125 days he had already served after his arrest. Charges relating to violating the restraining order were dismissed as part of his plea agreement with prosecutors.
Tittle was back in court Thursday for a hearing on new charges. Kelly, 64, was being held at the Ramsey County jail in lieu of $95,000 bail. Kelly’s lawyer did not respond to a request for a comment.
‘Lucky to do it for so long’
Tittle, who only uses her first name on air, has never been as much of a public figure as some of her coworkers. “I’m a real introvert,” she said. “I’m very shy. So this is obviously a perfect job for me because you sit in a room by yourself. I like to be behind the scenes.”
During her time at The Current, Tittle has been the go-to when it came to new innovations. “I was the host who would try things out. I tried a podcast, I shot a bunch of videos in the early days. They sent me to Bonnaroo,” an annual music and arts festival in Tennessee.
She also has amassed many memories from her tenure, like the time she was on a Zoom call with REM’s Michael Stipe and he had to interrupt it to take a call from his mother. “Those kind of magical moments are great, but it’s also as simple as someone sending you an email telling you the song you just played made their day.
“There are so many beautiful memories wrapped in this place,” Tittle added. “Some of my best friends are people I worked with here. This job is such a joy, I was so lucky to do it for so long. It kind of feels selfish to hold onto it for too long. It does feel like there’s a new generation of people here and how wonderful it is to bring in some new voices and new perspectives. I’m hopeful for The Current and its future.”
Nick Ferraro contributed to this story.