July 26, 2013

News Release

For Immediate Release

Suspect charged in Monday's robberies

At approximately 1:25 p.m. on July 22, a white male suspect robbed Family Dollar at 1825 W. Grand in Springfield. The male entered the business and contacted the cashier and displayed a black handgun and demanded cash. The cashier gave the suspect approximately $202. The suspect also asked for cigarettes and for the cashier to write his name on a piece of paper and give it to him. The suspect pointed the handgun at the cashier while telling him he had a kid on the way and had no job. He shook the cashier's hand, left the store and was not located. The cashier gave police a suspect description, and an officer reviewed surveillance video.

At approximately 5:31 p.m. on the same day, a white male suspect robbed Meek's Lumber at 1551 W. Mt. Vernon in Springfield. The male entered the business, contacted the cashier, displayed a handgun and demanded cash. The cashier gave the suspect approximately $247. The suspect had the cashier write her name on a piece of paper and give it to him, which he later returned before exiting. The suspect stayed in the store for an extended period of time after robbing the cashier. He continued to talk to her and asked for a hug, which she declined. The suspect told the cashier his name was Jonathan Kerns. The suspect told the cashier his gun was fake and also shook the cashier's hand before leaving the store. He was not located at that time. The cashier gave police a suspect description.

Later on this same date, a subject identified as David Lee Kerns, 22, was arrested on an unrelated incident and officers on the scene believed that he matched the description of the robbery suspect. Kerns had the black Daisy CO2-powered BB gun used in the robberies in his possession at the time of the arrest. He later admitted to committing both robberies and said he needed the money because he has a child on the way.

The case was presented to the Greene County Prosecutor's Office and two charges of 1st Degree Robbery were filed against David Lee Kerns with a bond of $25,000. The charges announced herein are merely an accusation and David Lee Kerns is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

SPD Case #13-30296, #13-30340
Media Contact: Lisa Cox, Public Affairs Officer
O: 864-1786 | C: 839-5301
Release authorized by: Major Jim McCulloch

springfield police department

Springfield Police Department

Headquarters: 321 E. Chestnut Expy., Springfield, MO 65802
South District Station: 2620 W. Battlefield Rd., Springfield, MO 65807
417-864-1810 • springfieldmo.gov/spd