Man sentenced on weapons charge

A convicted felon found with marijuana and guns on his Vincent property was sentenced to 61 days in jail Wednesday in Washington County Common Pleas Court.

Mark Kerns, 51, and wife Tammie, 46, of 718 McGill Road, were initially indicted on third-degree felony charges of marijuana cultivation and having weapons under a disability.

However, the drug cultivation charges against the Kerns were dropped because agents from the Major Crimes Task Force initially entered onto the Kerns’ property without a warrant, according to Washington County Prosecutor Jim Schneider.

The guns were found during a subsequent legal search of the house.

The Kerns, who were prohibited from having weapons because of a previous federal felony drug conviction, each pleaded guilty in April to the third-degree felony charge of having weapons under a disability.

Mark Kerns told Washington County Common Pleas Court Judge Randall Burnworth Wednesday that he was sorry for his actions.

“I’d like to apologize and just say you will not see me again,” he said.

A first draft of Kerns’ sentencing agreement would have had him serving 75 days in the Washington County Jail on 25 consecutive weekends.

However, his attorney, Dennis Sipe, asked during a change of plea hearing to instead allow Mark to serve a 60 day jail sentence intermittently-in chunks of 30, 15 and 15 days.

Burnworth and Schneider agreed at the time, citing the fact that the extra 25 days were initially added to make up for the fact that weekend stints only last two-and-a-half days.

However, Sipe asked Wednesday to change the intermittent sentencing agreement to 60 concurrent days.

“We’re going to serve them straight. They want to get them done so that Mr. Kerns, the primary breadwinner, can be back on the road,” he said.

Washington County Assistant Prosecutor Kevin Rings said Wednesday that he had no objection to the change.

Burnworth sentenced Kerns to 61 days and gave him credit for a single day served. Kerns will be subject to three years of community control sanctions and will be required to pay a $100 fine.

An agreed disposition for Tammie Kerns would require her to serve less time-30 days in two 15-day chunks- but would require her to pay a higher fine-$750.

She is scheduled to be sentenced at 4:15 p.m. June 17.

The Kerns each faced a maximum of 36 months in prison on the third-degree felony charge.