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.”
Just last week, Braden Kerns pleaded guilty to three charges of felony burglary in the second degree and received a 10-year deferred sentence.
Now, he is facing fourth charge of the same count after his name was mentioned in another burglary investigation.
According to the McAlester News-Capital, McAlester police officer Mike Crandall wrote in an affidavit that Braden Kerns’ name was mentioned in connection to burglary in which a television and a set of golf clubs were taken from a home.
When Sheriff Kerns heard about the incident, he immediately took action.
“Crandall spoke to Sheriff Joel Kerns… and arranged to speak to Braden that next day in reference to (the burglary),” Crandall wrote in a police report.
Sheriff Kerns then found potential evidence linking his son to the home burglary.
“During the conversation, (Joel) Kerns told Crandall that after our conversation that night before, he drove to Braden’s house and looked in the back of a vehicle that Braden was driving that belonged to Joel. Joel then noticed a Visio flat screen t.v. in the back of the truck that matched the description of the stolen t.v. from the victim’s house.”
When Sheriff Kerns confronted his son about the television, Braden Kerns “blew up and denied” any wrongdoing.
The sheriff then checked the residence where Braden Kerns was living, which Joel Kerns owns, for any other items that may have been stolen.
Although he didn’t find anything suspicious, he said he would send his deputies to retrieve Braden Kerns and bring him to the Sheriff’s Office for an interview with Officer Crandall, the report states.
“I just wish that it wasn’t that way, but you’ve got a young man who is addicted to something beyond my control,” Sheriff Kerns said. “I can’t tolerate it.”
Officer Crandall noted that Sheriff Kerns was “extremely helpful and open to any type of investigation and offered to help with any assistance that may be needed.”
When Officer Crandall interviewed Braden Kerns, he says Braden told him that before the burglary, he met with a young woman who lives at the house that was eventually broken into.
Braden Kerns told the officer that he met the young woman in a drug rehabilitation program.
Although he initially denied taking anything from the home, Braden Kerns eventually admitted to taking the television, according to Officer Crandall’s police report.
Braden Kerns refused to admit he took the golf clubs from the home.
However, he did allegedly admit to stealing a gold chain from the home.
Sheriff Kerns says the incidents have been hard on his family.
“It kills me, it kills my wife. But it is something that we have to deal with. People have to deal with it every day,” he said.
He says he immediately assisted in the investigation even though it meant his son could possibly go to prison.
“Other people make it with their kids in prison, and I am sure I will too,” Sheriff Kerns said.
According to the News-Capital, on top of the new felony, Braden Kerns faces four applications to accelerate on his previous 10-year deferred sentences.
He is being held in jail on a $20,000 bond.
He has pleaded not guilty to the new charge.