VALPARAISO, Ind. (AP) — A northwestern Indiana woman whose son was convicted in the shooting deaths of two Lake County teenagers faced perjury and other charges for allegedly trying to conceal his role in the killings.
Roxann Kerner of Chesterton was charged with felony obstruction of justice and perjury, and misdemeanor false informing, The (Northwest Indiana) Times reported.
Kerner, 47, was accused of sending police what she intended to be an anonymous email tip in May 2019, two months after her 19-year-old son, Connor Kerner, was arrested in the February 2019 killings of 18-year-old Thomas Grill, of Cedar Lake, and 19-year-old Molley Lanham, of St. John.
According to court records, Roxann Kerner's email pointed the finger at another man as the gunman in those killings, which occurred in the attached garage of Connor Kerner's maternal grandparents’ Hebron-area home.
Her tip said the man in question used to live with Connor Kerner and knew where his grandparents kept their spare keys, according to court documents. It also claimed that Grill owed that man thousands of dollars and that during a confrontation in the garage, Grill shot Lanham before the other man grabbed a second gun and shot Grill.
Police said they were able to trace the email tip back to Roxann Kerner, despite her using a Virtual Private Network in an attempt to hide her IP address. The charges state that investigators were able to do this because she used the same VPN when signing on to an inmate communication system to communicate with her son at the Porter County Jail.
Connor Kerner was found guilty in late October of two counts of murder and other charges in the double-killing. He remains jailed, awaiting a Dec. 8 sentencing hearing where he could face up to about 200 years behind bars.