Redmond man sentenced to nearly 19 years in prison in 2020 crash that killed Culver mother, injured 2
Two others were seriously injured; victims spoke, defendant apologized in court
MADRAS, Ore. (KTVZ) – A Jefferson County judge sentenced a 31-year-old Redmond man to nearly 19 years in prison Friday for a drunken-driving crash on Highway 97 in November 2020 that claimed the life of a 19-year-old Culver mother and seriously injured two other people.
Brandon Kern offered an apology and the three victims spoke in court before Judge Daina Vitolins imposed the 225-month sentence for first-degree manslaughter, two counts of second-degree assault and DUII in the crash north of Terrebonne that claimed the life of Alisa Rose Miller.
Because the sentence falls under Measure 11, Kern won’t be eligible to have his term reduced by parole or early release, District Attorney Steve Leriche said.
Vitolins listened carefully to the two victims in court as well as Miller’s husband, and Kern’s apology, before pronouncing sentence, the DA said.
Last Monday, after a five-day trial, the jury deliberated for less than 90 minutes before finding Kern guilty of all charges.
In a sentencing memorandum to the judge filed on Thursday, Deputy District Attorney Brentley Foster requested she impose a maximum possible sentence of 260 months, or more than 21 ½ years, noting Kern’s 2016 conviction for assault and reckless driving in a Deschutes County road rage incident, as well as a 2014 DUII diversion and 2003 juvenile case of assault.
After the 2020 crash, Foster wrote, Kern “spent more time asking about the condition of his truck and tools than his victims.” And she said a 260-month sentence “is undeniably more than defendant desires, but in comparison to the trauma and heartbreak he caused, far less than he deserves. It is appropriate, necessary and justified. Defendant’s conduct has shown over and over again who he is. This Court should believe him.”
Leriche said in a news release after Friday's sentencing that he "would like to thank the jury for their considerable time and effort. Jefferson County juries are known for having common sense and for being very law-abiding, and this jury lived up to that reputation."
"We thank the Oregon State Police and in particular Senior Troopers Kevin Fugate, Robert Routt, April Ratliff, Clint Prevett, and Sergeant John Russo for their exceptional commitment and professionalism. The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office also deserves our thanks, especially Deputy Justin Silence.
"This case represents one of the worst DUII crashes in our county. ... Everyone involved in this case from the victims, first responders and even the prosecutors were emotionally impacted by this case.
"A sentence can never take away the pain this crash caused, but the State is grateful for the justice delivered in this case," Leriche wrote.
"Finally, we ask everyone to not drink and drive, (and) after seeing this kind of tragedy, we can only hope that as a community we can learn from it," he concluded.