Wife’s weapons sentence delayed until husband serves jail time

A Vincent woman will wait until her husband is released from the local jail until serving her sentence on the same charge.

Tammie Kerns, 46, of 718 McGill Road, was sentenced Monday in Washington County Common Pleas Court for having weapons under a disability.

The third-degree felony charge carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison.

Kerns will be spending 30 days in jail on the charge, to which she pleaded guilty April 26.

Her husband, Mark Kerns, 51, also pleaded guilty to the third-degree felony charge in April and was sentenced June 5 to spend 61 days in the Washington County Jail.

Mark Kerns had at one point asked to serve his sentence in chunks of 30, 15 and 15 days, but asked at sentencing to have it changed to one long sentence.

Monday his wife, who had initially asked for two 15-day sentences, did the same.

“We’d talked about 30 days. She’d like to do straight time,” said Tammie’s counsel, Parkersburg attorney George Cosenza.

Cosenza asked that Tammie be able to start her sentence Sept. 4, after Mark is released.

“He doesn’t get out until late August and they would like to work this around her husband’s business,” he said.

Mark has previously indicated that he owns a trucking business.

Washington County Prosecutor Jim Schneider said that he did not object to the delayed sentencing.

Washington County Common Pleas Court Judge Randall Burnworth said he would sentence Kerns to 30 days and grant the delayed sentence request because it would help ensure the Kerns could pay a financial sanction for the crime.

Tammie will be required to pay a $750 fine. Mark was assessed a $100 fine.

“The court’s acquiescence is largely dependent upon your ability to pay those costs,” said Burnworth.

Neither of the Kerns were permitted to possess guns because of a prior federal felony drug conviction.

However, guns were found in their Vincent home during a July 24 search.

The Kerns had initially become the target of a search because a fly-over of their home earlier that day alerted authorities to the presence of marijuana on their property. However, agents from the Marietta Crimes Task Force initially entered the Kerns property without a search warrant, Schneider said previously.

Therefore, third-degree felony charges of illegal cultivation of marijuana against the couple were dropped.

In addition to jail time and fines, both Mark and Tammie Kerns will serve three years of community control. They were also required to forfeit all the firearms found in their home, said Schneider.