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Man gets 5 years for shooting 2

Published: Thu, March 10, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m.


Wayne Kerns

By John W. Goodwin Jr.



A city man will spend five years in prison for shooting two people on the South Side in 2009 while participating in gang activity.

Wayne Kerns, 20, of Volney Road, appeared Wednesday before Judge John Durkin of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court for sentencing on two counts of felonious assault, each with gang specifications. Kerns had reached a plea agreement with prosecutors in late January.

Jennifer McLaughlin, an assistant county prosecutor, told the court Kerns has been free on bond, but has been charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana while waiting on resolution of the felonious-assault charges.

McLaughlin said prosecutors have photos of Kerns and other men using gang signs and other activity associated with the gang.

She recommended a five-year sentence for Kerns.

Atty. Mark Lavelle, representing Kerns, told the court he was frustrated with his client because of the new marijuana charge lodged against him.

He said Kerns was off to a good start after his felonious-assault arrest, but then began to slip and even came to the attorney’s office high on marijuana.

Lavelle told the judge he would be happy if the court would be kind enough to adopt the prosecutor’s recommendation without any additional time.

Kerns apologized to the court and asked for leniency.

He told the judge he was sorry for wasting the courts time on something so “petty.”

Judge Durkin, before passing sentence, reminded Kerns of how serious the charges against him are.

“This is far from petty,” the judge said.

“This is a case where two people could have died. You are lucky they survived.”

The judge sentenced Kerns to four years in prison on the felonious assault charges and an additional one year in prison for the gang specifications.

According to Vindicator files, Sherrick Jackson, 20, of East Judson Avenue, was shot in the neck while in the front yard of an East Judson home. John Mitchell, 27, no address given, was shot in his left leg while in a sport utility vehicle in the driveway of the same address. Both men survived their injuries.

A woman who lives at the house told officers the shooting was gang-related, reports said.

Several shots were fired at the house from two vehicles. When officers arrived, they found a maroon 1998 Buick in the street with all four doors open and keys in the ignition.

The woman told officers the other vehicle, a red Pontiac Bonneville, fled the area, and the occupants of the Buick fled on foot.

While officers were at the site, Kerns was approached by about 20 people from East Judson who were calling him one of the shooters.


1traciemast(4 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

When you are in a bind and have a monetary emergency a payday loan can be a real help in these situations, if you need fast cash best place I use is called "Nimble Payday"

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2seminole(476 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

From Judge Kerns: “This is a case where two people could have died. You are lucky they survived.”...yeah, felon thug, you're lucky no doubt. 5 years for capping two people? Another assinine plea deal from the prosecutors office. This weed burning sniper will be back on the streets in less than three years for "good behavior". Gain's and his office of dunces, errrrr...qualified prosecutors as Gains calls them, will be sure to see that happen and let another shooter back on the streets to exact more cirmes. Frickin' unbelievable and disgusting...

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3believehalfofwhatusee(5 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Yes once again the all too familiar words we read in every criminal case in Mahoning County "PLEA DEAL". As taxpayers I think we are not receiving any value for our tax dollars where the prosecutor's office is concerned. I at first I thought maybe it was just incompetence or laziness, now I wonder if its not justice for sale. This guy tried to KILL TWO people. Can our prosecutor's office not get a conviction of attempted murder? Maybe we need a more skilled prosecutor. This thug will be back on the street at the age of 25 (maybe sooner) to resume his thug lifestyle and endanger the lives of local citizens. Thanks Paul Gains, thank you very much.

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4shaire22(1 comment)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

well all i have to say is the people on here talking bad about my brother and i have a feeling that you guys are white people.. all ya'll can say is this black thug black dis black that ill b happy if he gets out wat the hell did they do to that racist ass hunky zimmerman killing that innocent young black boy trevon martin and yall think our black brother cnt get out.. im tired of the racist ass people in this world what makes you think your better than us the only difference between me and you is our skin color.. we have to worry about yall white m-f-ers tryna kill us if we where a black hoody cause "we look suspicious" f wat yall sayin if he gets out he gets out what yall gon do.. and trust and believe when he gets out he'll b a different man.. yall m-f-ers sure would b happy if zimmermans punk ass got out wouldnt you.. so my last words is if yall think he should stay in there try and do somethin then other than that SHUT THE F**k UP. he did his time and now my brother gon b free.. white people cant hold us down nomore...

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