Police chief's son charged with furnishing alcohol to a minor

An affidavit says Police Chief Pete Kerns called Oregon State Police to report his son furnishing alcohol to minors. The affidavit says the son, John Kerns, asked a 21-year-old woman to buy alcohol for him (SBG photo)

EUGENE, Ore. – Eugene Police Chief Pete Kerns called Oregon State Police on his son, according to the Affidavit of Probable Cause.

The affidavit says Oregon State Police responded to a call from a property owner asking officers to investigate a party involving minors.

The affidavit alleges the party occurred on September 11 at the private residence of Pete and Joan Kerns in Eugene.

The report says 20-year-old John Kerns, the son of Pete Kerns, admitted to giving $120 to 21-year-old Katelyn Rose Badeau to buy alcohol for him.

In the report, it says Badeau bought the alcohol for John Kerns three separate times when both Pete Kerns and his wife were out of town. The first was on September 11, the second was on September 15, and the third took place between September 18 and September 20.

The affidavit says John Kerns had five friends at his home on the first gathering, four on the second, and he and Badeau drank together at the third.

In the documents, John admitted to drinking the alcohol and sharing it with his friends on all occasions.

Oregon State Police says they spoke with Badeau on September 25. She admitted to delivering the alcohol to the minors on three separate occasions. She confirmed John Kerns asked her to buy the drinks.

The affidavit states, “John would have gotten someone else to buy it if she didn’t, so she chose to do him a favor.”

Badeau said she bought all the alcohol at the same time, but did not give it to him all at once.

The report says Badeau claimed she know John Kerns was underage and did not know his friends personally, but assumed they were underage as well.

John Kerns was charged with furnishing alcohol to a minor. It’s a misdemeanor if he’s convicted.

Court documents say Kerns is eligible to participate in a Community Prosecution Diversion program to remove the incident from his record later.

Badeau was also charged with furnishing alcohol to minors.

Police Chief Pete Kerns released the following statement:

While my wife and I were out of town, our youngest son hosted an underage party attended by young adults. This is uncharacteristic for our family and when we learned of this upon our return, we were concerned for the safety of the young adults who had been at our home. I asked the Oregon State Police to investigate. Following the investigation, our son and another person were issued citations for Furnishing Alcohol to a Minor. That’s likely the same decision that I would have made if I were investigating an incident like this. Our children know that if they commit a crime or traffic violation it is their responsibility to deal with it, and that I will not intercede in any way. As a parent it is important to seek what good could come of an episode like this and in this case the circumstances opened important conversations about alcohol and relationships. Our son is an honorable person, he was forthcoming with us, and he’s dealing responsibly with the consequences and with the criminal justice system. I’m sure his future will be safer as a result of this experience.

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