The Trench Reynolds Report

Without truth there is no justice

Immunity appeal continues to hold up Kerns case:

You know if I’m talking about the trial of Tobin Kerns you know I’m talking about another delay…

It’s been a long and winding road to trial for Marshfield teenager Tobin “Toby” Kerns, but attorneys from both the defense and prosecution are hoping a July status hearing will be the end of the line.

Kerns went before Judge Louis Coffin once again Thursday in Plymouth Juvenile Court, where another pretrial hearing was set for July 17.

In April, Assistant District Attorney John McLaughlin requested that immunity be granted in Kerns’ trial in Juvenile Court on the grounds that Farley and Sullivan were granted immunity in Brockton Superior Court for the Nee trial. Coffin rejected the proposal, citing a decision rendered in Commonwealth vs. Russ, a 2001 case that set a precedent against granting immunity in juvenile cases. McLaughlin appealed the decision to a judge in the state Supreme Judicial Court in hopes of securing immunity in Kerns’ case. A decision from a Judicial Court justice is still pending.

“They feel the issue of immunity shouldn’t be a problem,” Kerns’ attorney William McElligott said.

While attorneys hoped to settle upon a start date for trial at Thursday’s hearing, the appeal by the Commonwealth is still going through the motions, McElligott said. He said he’s hoping the immunity issue will be settled by the July hearing so a date for trial can be set. McElligott said should the Commonwealth receive a ruling from the Judicial Court before the next hearing, a trial date could be set sooner.

While he’s hoping for the best, McElligott said it’s possible that the appeals process could drag on further if the decision does not go in favor of the Commonwealth. He said the Commonwealth could appeal the decision by a single justice to go before the entire Judicial Court.

So now Toby will continue to have this hanging over his head like a guillotine for a crime that he more than likely did not commit.


2 thoughts on “Yet another delay in Kerns Trial

  1. Jim says:

    quick and speedy trial my ass


  2. anomynous says:

    WOW!!! This case is similar to Joe Meredith’s case. It’s unbelievable how innocent kids can so easily get into trouble with the law these days. Kids are so sensitive and naive about life in the first place and they are going to experiment, but just because you go through a period of hanging with a bad crowd and then realize that’s really not you, then BANG!…you are caught up in some murder charge because the idiot you thought may be a cool friend, turns out to be a psycho or pathalogical liar. When I was growing up, hanging with a bad crowd meant you may get busted drinking, smoking, etc. NOT MURDER!!!

    I know we have Eric and Dylan among others to thank for this system of justice for our kids, but something has to change before the lives of kids like Joe and Toby are ruined because they chose to hang out with the wrong person for a very brief period of their lives. I know this can and does happen to adults, just the same, but that’s adults, not kids! Adults have gone through their childhood and should know the difference between the good crowd vs the bad, because they had the chance to experiment with different crowds and learn from them without a murder charge being slapped on them.

    So, this case has been dragging on for 2 years, huh?? Is this what Joe Meredith has to look forward to? His education is on hold! His plans to go to college are on hold! His life is at a complete stand still right now, because his “attention seeking” WRONG choice of a friend, decided to run his mouth about shooting up a school.

    Guilty by association and your life can be ruined with a MURDER charge, even when you know, and all the people who are close to you know, you would never hurt and definatley never kill another human being in your life! SCARY!


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