District 18 District Attorney Farley Ward said Monday his office lost track of a felony criminal case involving the son of Pittsburg County Sheriff Joel Kerns.Braden Kerns, 23, of McAlester, is the son of Sheriff Kerns — the top law enforcement officer in Pittsburg County. Braden Kerns was arrested Sunday night by McAlester police on felony drug, burglary and possession of stolen property charges.A News-Capital investigation shows it is the second time in a little more than a year that Braden Kerns faced felony charges, but he was not fully prosecuted on the first case. Ward acknowledged during an interview Monday that his office lost track of Braden Kerns’ earlier criminal case after a prosecutor handling the matter left Ward’s office.
Braden Kerns is due back in court on Jan. 27 on previous charges.He had been charged on Sept. 21, 2014, with second-degree burglary of the residence of his grandfather. A $5,000 bond was set in that case.Braden Kerns had also been charged Sept. 21 with knowingly concealing stolen property, bringing contraband into a penal facility (the jail) and possession of a controlled dangerous substance. A $5,000 bond was also set in that case, according to the Pittsburg County Court Clerk’s office.Braden Kerns is also charged in another case with burglarizing the home of his parents in 2013. He had a $2,000 bond set in that case, court records state.In September, 2014, the News-Capital reported that Ward’s office failed, for over a year, to fully prosecute the first felony charge involving the alleged burglary of Braden Kerns’ parents’ home.Ward acknowledged at the time his office lost track of the case.“I don’t know if forgotten is the right word, but it wasn’t acted upon,” Ward said in September when asked about the matter.He said Braden Kerns had “absolutely not” received special treatment.Following the September arrest, Ward said he reinitiated prosecution of the 2013 case.
The son of Pittsburg County Sheriff Joel Kerns has faced multiple arrests for burglary and drug offenses over the last year and a-half. Following a September arrest it was learned that a 2013 prosecution against the younger Kerns was delayed for nearly a year. When we asked why, Ward said his office misplaced the case file after another prosecutor stepped down.
Editorial: District Attorney needs to do more - McAlester News CapitalQuoteThe son of Pittsburg County Sheriff Joel Kerns has faced multiple arrests for burglary and drug offenses over the last year and a-half. Following a September arrest it was learned that a 2013 prosecution against the younger Kerns was delayed for nearly a year. When we asked why, Ward said his office misplaced the case file after another prosecutor stepped down.http://www.mcalesternews.com/opinion/editorial-district-attorney-needs-to-do-more/article_fa585354-9a61-11e4-b29b-7fd9801028cf.html
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MCALESTER, Okla. – A police report shows that an Oklahoma sheriff assisted in his son’s arrest.After learning his son was a suspect in a home burglary, Pittsburg County Sheriff Joel Kerns conducted his own investigation that led to the arrest of his son, 23-year-old Braden Kerns.“The position I am in, I have to uphold the law,” Sheriff Kerns told the McAlester News-Capital Tuesday. “If it’s my son or whoever’s son.”
Posted: Wednesday, July 22, 2015 8:00 amSheriff assists police in son's arrestBy PARKER PERRY | STAFF WRITER Recently released police reports indicate Pittsburg County Sheriff Joel Kerns was extremely cooperative with McAlester law enforcement — even proactive in assisting the investigation — after learning his son was a suspect in a burglary just a couple of days after the younger Kerns pleaded guilty to three other break-ins. [..][..] Shortly after those pleas were entered, McAlester police officer Mike Crandall wrote in an affidavit Braden Kerns’ name was mentioned in the investigation of a burglary on South 14th Street in McAlester. A reporting person said a television and a set of golf clubs were taken from the home. Crandall made clear in his report that Sheriff Kerns took immediate action when the McAlester officer called the county’s top law enforcement official. [..]
It should be noted that the first home he stole from. the earlier crimes for which he was sentenced, belonged to the husband of Jeanne LeFlore, former journalist of the McAlester News. Apparently close friends of the Kerns family at the time.
This report from McAlester News provides a clearer time sequence. As well there is a photo of Braden included. The kid looks 10 years older than his 23 years..