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Orange County News For Immediate Release Contact: Christopher Borek January 11, 2022 845.291.3276, 845.238.4245c
District Attorney Hoovler Announces Bail Jumping Charges and
Remand for Defendant Found Guilty in Absentia in Gun Case
Brooklyn Man Who Failed to Appear at His Trial and was Found Guilty of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree and Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree Arrested by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office
Defendant Failed to Appear at Trial and was Convicted “In Absentia”
Defendant faces up to Fifteen Years in State Prison on Gun Charge
Defendant faces additional Two to Four Years in Prison for Bail Jumping
Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced on that on January 11, 2022, Kaeshawn Kerr, 27, of Brooklyn, was remanded to the Orange County Jail without bail after being arraigned by Orange County Judge Hyun Chin Kim on an indictment charging him with Bail Jumping in the Second Degree. On September 15, 2021, a jury in Orange County Court found Kerr guilty of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree and Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree. The top-count conviction occurred after Kerr, who had been at liberty after posting bail, failed to appear in court as directed, and was not present in court at any time during the trial. New York State law allows courts to try and sentence defendants “in absentia” if they voluntarily and willfully refuse to come to court. A warrant for Kerr’s arrest was issued.
During the trial, Assistant District Attorney Nicholas Mangold argued that on January 1, 2021, Kerr had been driving a car on Harriman Drive, in the Town of Goshen, when he was stopped by a New York State Trooper for speeding. After giving the Trooper a false name, Kerr fled in the vehicle to a Lowe’s home improvement store in Chester. Troopers waited outside of the store and when Kerr emerged called to Kerr, who attempted to flee on foot. During the chase Kerr threw away a loaded 9 mm Smith and Wesson semi-automatic handgun and a forged Connecticut driver’s license on him in the name of “Dennis Charette”.
In January 2021, bail had been set for Kerr in the amount of fifty-thousand dollars cash or one-hundred-thousand dollars secured bond or two-hundred-fifty-thousand dollars partially secured bond. Kerr eventually posted a bond and was at liberty. Kerr had last appeared in Orange County Court on August 19, 2021, when the date for the trial was set. Kerr, who had been ordered to return to court for the trial, failed to appear as directed on September 9, 2021. The trial commenced in Kerr’s absence.
Kerr was arrested on January 11, 2022, by Orange County Sheriff’s Investigator John O’Brien, who is assigned to the United States Marshal’s Service Fugitive Task Force. Kerr was remanded without bail on both the weapons case and the bail jumping case. Kerr is next scheduled to appear in court on January 26, 2022.
Kerr faces up to fifteen years in state prison and five years post release supervision on the charge of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, an additional sentence of three and one-half to seven years in prison on the charge of Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, as well as an additional two to four years in state prison on the Bail Jumping charge.
District Attorney Hoovler thanked the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and Marshal’s Service for apprehending Kerr, and the New York State Police for their initial arrest of Kerr and their assistance in the prosecution.
District Attorney Hoovler highly commended Assistant District Attorney Nicholas Mangold who prosecuted the case.
“I had no doubt that this defendant’s repeated attempts to avoid apprehension and punishment would ultimately prove futile,” said District Attorney David M. Hoovler. “Gun violence continues at alarming levels in New York State and my office will recommend that this defendant be sentenced to the maximum sentence allowed by law to deter him and others from committing similar weapons offenses and attempting to flee from prosecution.”
Orange County Sheriff Carl E. DuBois said, "Investigator John O'Brien has proven to be an active, integral member of the Marshals Task Force, and has been involved in many high profile and dangerous apprehensions. The Orange County Sheriff's Office remains committed to partnering with federal agencies to keep our communities safe."
This criminal charge is merely an allegation that a defendant has committed a violation of the criminal law, and it is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the State of New York’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.