Investigators launch nationwide search after convict fails to show for prison term

Carroll man sentenced to five years in assault

April 08, 1999|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

A national search is being conducted for a Westminster man who failed to surrender to Carroll County sheriff's deputies on Tuesday, when he was supposed to begin a five-year prison sentence for choking the mother of his baby.

Kenneth Eugene Kern, 35, of the 600 block of Washington Road, has a history of domestic violence and is known to carry a 9 mm pistol, local investigators said yesterday.

A no-bond bench warrant was issued Tuesday after Kern failed to surrender at the Carroll County Detention Center at 9 a.m., said Lt. Charles Paulsen of the sheriff's office.

On March 30, Carroll Circuit Judge Raymond E. Beck Sr. suspended half of a 10-year sentence after Kern pleaded guilty to second-degree assault; he allowed Kern seven days to tend to personal business before surrendering.

Gary W. Cofflin, an investigator for the state's attorney's domestic violence unit, said Kern also faces a one-year jail sentence, pending an appeal of a District Court conviction in December for second-degree assault and a fourth-degree sex offense involving a different victim.

"He was free on a $10,000 appeal bond, which State's Attorney Jerry F. Barnes will now seek to revoke," Cofflin said.

"We have no viable information that he has left the state," said Paulsen, noting that Kern's fugitive status has been entered into a national crime computer.

Kern is also under court order to have no contact with Shelly Lea Shriver, 27, the mother of his 1-year-old son, except for visitation privileges.

Outlining the case against Kern last week, Assistant State's Attorney Theresa M. Adams said Shriver was asleep on Sept. 9, when Kern came home from playing pool at 11 p.m.

After he found on a caller-identification box the number of a friend who was helping her move, he began accusing her of having an affair, Adams said.

Kern slapped her, grabbed her head and banged it into the wall of their baby's room, then choked her, screaming, "I'm going to kill you," said Adams. "He told her to `take a good look at the baby now, because in the morning you'll be dead.' "

"We are out to find him quickly, because we really fear that he may try to go after the victim," Cofflin said. "We also are trying to notify other women who were victims in other domestic violence incidents involving Kern."

Kern is 6 feet tall and 180 pounds. He has short brown hair, blue eyes and a tattoo of a tiger on his right leg above the ankle. He also has a tatoo of unknown design on a finger of his left hand, investigators said.

Pub Date: 4/08/99

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