Kernich case comes to an end

James Starks

The third and final defendant in the incident that led to the November 2009 death of a Kent State University student pleaded guilty Tuesday morning to two felony charges of obstructing justice.

Upon entering his plea, Judge Laurie Pittman sentenced Glenn P. Jefferson, Jr., to one year per charge and a $300 fine. The 22-year-old from Mentor will serve this sentence concurrently with another one-year prison term stemming from a 2007 probation violation on a theft conviction in Lake County.

Jefferson admitted to lying to police and a Portage County grand jury during the trial of two co-defendants in the death of Christopher Kernich. The charges against him carried a maximum penalty of up to ten years in prison.

Ronald Spears, Jefferson’s attorney, reached a plea agreement with the Portage County Prosecutor’s office in order to receive the minimum sentence.

In the spring, Jefferson testified against Adrian A. Barker, who was convicted of felonious assault and murder, and Ronald G. Kelly, who was convicted of murder. The charges stem from an early morning altercation on Nov. 15, when the two assaulted Christopher Kernich. He died a week later due to head injuries.

–James Starks