Police in N.J. arrest fugitive convicted in Carroll County

Westminster resident held on stolen-car charges

April 29, 1999|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

A Westminster man who fled Carroll County three weeks ago as he was about to begin serving a five-year sentence on an assault charge has been arrested in New Jersey on stolen-auto charges, authorities said.

Kenneth Eugene Kern, of the 600 block of Washington Road, pleaded guilty to second-degree assault on March 30 in connection with choking the mother of his baby, court records show. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison, but Circuit Judge Raymond E. Beck Sr. suspended half that term and allowed him seven days to tend to personal business.

When Kern failed to surrender to sheriff's deputies on April 6, Beck issued a no-bond bench warrant for his arrest and Carroll County sheriff's deputies began searching for him.

Gary W. Cofflin, an investigator for the state's attorney's domestic violence unit, said then that 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.

Kern was arrested at 3: 15 p.m. Tuesday about 30 miles north of Atlantic City after police reported seeing a car being driven erratically, said Sgt. Robert Andrews, a police spokesman in Barnegat, N.J.

"Our officers tried to stop the car and it took off, but quickly turned into a dead-end street," Andrews said. "The driver ran from the car and was tackled after a brief foot chase, but didn't resist arrest beyond that."

Kern has been charged in New Jersey for possession of a car reported stolen in Maryland, eluding police and about 15 traffic offenses, Andrews said.

Carroll County Assistant State's Attorney Theresa M. Adams said yesterday that New Jersey authorities are holding Kern on $15,000 bail.

"He is also being held on our detainer, meaning that if he posts bail in New Jersey, authorities there will continue to hold him until he can be extradited to Maryland," Adams said.

"For now, we'll have to wait to see if he intends to fight extradition," she said.

A court order prohibits Kern from having contact with Shelly Lea Shriver, 27, the mother of his 1-year-old son.

In court last month, Adams said Shriver was asleep on Sept. 9 when Kern came home from playing pool about 11 p.m. He began accusing her of having an affair, slapped her, grabbed her head and banged it into the wall. He then choked her, screaming, "I'm going to kill you," Adams said.

Pub Date: 4/29/99

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