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Former RLC prez faces additional charge

Danny Malkovich
updated: 4/27/2010 9:04 PM

Former Rend Lake College President Mark Kern faces an additional felony charge as a result of an incident outside his rural Franklin County home last week.

Franklin County State';s Attorney Thomas J. Dinn filed a charge of aggravated discharge of a weapon against Kern, who reportedly fired a shotgun at the car of a woman who had tried to serve a subpoena on Kern's wife, Pat.

"More evidence came to light over the weekend which prompted the new charge," Dinn said.

Dinn said that the charge, filed Monday in Franklin County Circuit Court, carries a sentence of four to 15 years in prison, upon conviction.

Hollie A. Thomas indicated that she was attempting to serve a subpoena at the Kern residence on Snow Flake Road in Ewing when a man pulled a gun and pointed it at her. Kern had been charged with aggravated assault, battery, and resisting arrest immediately following the incident.

Wilson said Kern struck her with the gun and attempted to shoot out the tire on her vehicle. Thomas was advised to leave the area and meet with deputies at the Ewing-Northern Fire Station.

Thomas said that she knocked on the front door of Kern';s residence.

When no one answered, she went to the back door, where she observed a man inside the residence walking toward the garage. When Thomas walked into the open garage to meet the subject, he came toward her pointing a long gun in her face.

She identified herself and asked if she could speak with Pat Kern, after which the man replied that she could not and told her to leave.

"Ms. Thomas stated that she turned around to walk to her car and the male subject hit her under her right arm with something, believed to be the long gun," Franklin County Sheriff Bill Wilson said. "Ms. Thomas stated that she got into her car and the male subject pointed the long gun at her front tire and pulled the trigger, but the gun did not fire."

Wilson said Thomas feared that the man was going to shoot her, adding that he was standing in the driveway when he fired the gun.

Deputies entered the opened garage door and knocked on the entrance door. One of the deputies stated that the man, later identified as Mark Kern, had a handgun in his hand. Deputies yelled at him several times to put down the gun.

Wilson said that finally, Mrs. Kern took the handgun from her husband';s right hand and placed it on the floor to the right of the deputies.

Wilson said deputies asked Kern to step away from the handgun, and he refused. Deputies then ordered Kern to step out of the residence, away from the handgun, and he refused.

Deputies removed two firearms and informed Kern that he was under arrest for aggravated assault for discharging a firearm while Thomas was attempting to serve the subpoena.

Kern said that he did not fire the gun at her, but rather fired in the air to scare her off. Kern was handcuffed and placed in the squad car.


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