District Attorney Hoovler Announces Guilty Verdict in Gun Case

September 16, 2021

Orange County Jury finds Brooklyn Man Guilty of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree and Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree

Defendant Failed to Appear at Trail and was Convicted “In Absentia”

Defendant faces up to Fifteen Years in State Prison on Gun Charge

District Attorney asks for the Public’s Help in Locating Defendant

Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced on that on September 15, 2021, a jury in Orange County Court found Kaeshawn Kerr, 27, of Brooklyn, 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 before Orange County Court Judge Hyun Chin Kim. 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. Kerr’s sentencing is scheduled for October 21, 2021 and may also legally proceed in his absence. A warrant for Kerr’s arrest has been issued. The District Attorney’s Office is asking for the public’s help in apprehending Kerr.

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 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 8, 2021. On September 9, 2021, the trial commenced in Kerr’s absence. Judge Kim issued a warrant for Kerr’s arrest. Anyone with information concerning Kerr’s current location is urged to call the New York State Police.

Kerr faces up to fifteen years in state prison and five years post release supervision on the charge of Criminal Possession of a Firearm in the Second Degree, and 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.

District Attorney Hoovler thanked the New York State Police for their arrest of Kerr and thier assistance in the prosecution.

District Attorney Hoovler highly commended Assistant District Attorney Nicholas Mangold who prosecuted the case.

“I have no doubt that this defendant’s repeated attempts to avoid apprehension and punishment will 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. I urge anyone with information concerning this defendant’s whereabout to contact law enforcement.”

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.