By Patti Weaver
(Stillwater, Okla.) — A Stillwater man has been jailed on $50,000 bail with an order to have no contact with his mother, whom he is accused of stabbing in the neck.
James “Jay” Robert Kerns, 34, who was scheduled to be arraigned this week, could be given a 10-year prison term if convicted of domestic assault and battery with a knife.
“SMC staff advised there were complications with intubating (his mother) due to swelling of her throat from the stab wound. She was placed in a medically induced coma and transported to OU Medical for specialized treatment.
“Her condition is unknown at this time,” Stillwater Police Detective Sgt. Sherae LeJeune wrote in an affidavit filed with the charge last week.
Jay Kerns was arrested at the residence of his brother, Matt Kerns, on Sept. 22 at 10:44 am, less than an hour after officers were sent to Our Daily Bread on a report that a female was stabbed in the neck by a male, an affidavit said.
A woman said she was riding in a vehicle with the defendant and his mother when the pair “got into a verbal argument while driving through Couch Park,” the affidavit alleged.
She said she saw Kern’s mother, who was driving, stabbed in the front of the neck by Jay Kerns with a small knife, the affidavit alleged.
Kerns’ mother “immediately began bleeding from the wound and her throat started to swell,” the affidavit alleged.
The back seat passenger said she went out of the vehicle through a back window when Kerns’ mother stopped in the parking lot of Our Daily Bread, the affidavit alleged.
She said that Kerns’ mother “drove away from the area with Jay remaining in the front passenger seat,” the affidavit alleged.
Stillwater Police Detective Lt. Cody Manuel viewed Our Daily Bread security camera footage that showed at 9:47 am a vehicle stopped, and a woman crawled out of the back passenger window on the driver’s side, the affidavit alleged.
The footage showed that Kerns’ mother got out of the vehicle and walked around “in an attempt to contact bystanders while pointing at her neck,” which appeared bloody, the affidavit alleged. A minute later, Kerns’ mother got back in the driver’s seat, and the passenger closed the door before the vehicle drove off westbound on 12th Avenue, the affidavit alleged.
“At 10:02 am Detective Kellison and I arrived at the Stillwater Medical Center Emergency Room to await (the victim’s) arrival. ER staff advised no one had arrived with a stab wound to the neck. We continued to wait in the parking lot,” the detective sergeant wrote in her affidavit.
Ten minutes later, a vehicle driven by Kerns’ brother, Matt, parked in the hospital lot and Kerns’ mother got out, the affidavit alleged.
“As I made contact with (Kerns’ mother), Matt was reversing in an attempt to leave,” but was stopped by Detective Mary Kellison, the affidavit alleged.
“I noticed a hole at the base of (Kerns’ mother’s) neck that had dried and fresh blood around it. As (she) spoke, inhaled and exhaled, I could hear air entering and exiting from the wound in her neck. Her right eye was swollen shut as well.
“I escorted her into the ER for treatment. She said she was stabbed in the neck, but refused to say who stabbed her,” the detective sergeant wrote in her affidavit.
The defendant’s brother, Matt, said he was sleeping when he was awakened by heavy banging on his front door to find his mother in a panic, the affidavit alleged. “She stated she lost her car keys,” the affidavit alleged.
“Matt noticed the injury to her throat and could hear air whistling from the wound,” the affidavit alleged. His girlfriend handed him her car keys and he drove his mother to the hospital, the affidavit alleged. “Matt said (his mother) drove herself to his residence and she was alone.
“He said he had not seen or heard from his brother, Jay Kerns, in several months and he was not currently at his house,” the affidavit alleged.
“At 10:40 am Detective Moore, Detective McSpadden, Officer Rivas, Officer Whiteley and Lt. Bruce arrived at (the house),” where Matt Kerns’ girlfriend said, “Jay was inside,” the affidavit alleged.
After the defendant came out and was arrested, two knives were located on him, the affidavit alleged. The next day, when the detective sergeant contacted the defendant in the Stillwater City Jail, “He advised he was not going to speak with me without an attorney. Communication ended with Jay immediately,” the affidavit alleged.
According to court records, in 2017 the defendant had been placed on five years’ probation under deferred sentences for possessing heroin in 2016 and methamphetamine in 2017 in Payne County. The following year, the defendant was ordered into the Payne County Drug Court program, which he completed two years later in 2020.