Barton County Attorney Levis Morris reported on three recent prison sentences handed down by District Court Judge Carey Hipp.
Lafe Patrick Kern
On July 9, Judge Hipp sentenced Lafe Patrick Kern to 49 months (four years and one month) in the Kansas Department of Corrections after Kern pleaded no contest to three counts of aggravated battery. The charges and convictions are the result of a two-vehicle head-on collision on U.S. 281 highway south of Great Bend in February 2015.
What started out as a highway crash quickly became a DUI investigation. Kansas Bureau of Investigation testing confirmed the presence of several drugs including Alprazolam in Kern’s blood. Through his attorney, Shaf Holland of Russell, Kern asked the court for the opportunity to be placed on probation.
After hearing the arguments of defense counsel as well as from one of the victims involved in the crash, Judge Hipp denied the request for probation and ordered Kern to serve the 49 months in the Kansas Department of Corrections. In addition to the prison time, the Court ordered the defendant to repay over $20,000 in restitution.
The case was investigated by the Barton County Sheriff’s Office, the Kansas Highway Patrol and the KBI. The case was prosecuted by Assistant Barton County Attorney Doug Matthews.
Read about the case at https://gbtribune.com/news/local-news/probable-cause-found-in-kern-dui-case/
Patrick Allen Doty
On May 28, Judge Hipp sentenced Patrick Allen Doty to 82 months (six years and 10 months) in the custody of the Kansas Department of Corrections following his two convictions for sexual exploitation of a child. These convictions stem from inappropriate text messages Doty sent to an underage girl in August of 2020. In between his plea and sentencing, Doty unsuccessfully attempted to withdraw his guilty pleas. In addition to prison, Doty will be required to register as a sex offender. The case was prosecuted by Assistant Barton County Attorney Colin Reynolds.
Read about Doty’s arrest at https://gbtribune.com/news/on-the-record/police-arrest-man-ongoing-sex-offense-investigation/
On March 29, following an evidentiary hearing, Judge Hipp found that Frank Joseph Relmar Jr. violated his probation by committing a new offense. Hipp then revoked his probation and ordered Relmar to serve his underlying sentence of 158 months (13 years and two months) in the Kansas Department of Corrections. On June 25, Relmar was sentenced for the new offense and 24 months (two years) in KDOC custody was added as well as a lifetime offender registration requirement. The case was prosecuted by Assistant Barton County Attorney Colin Reynolds.
Relmar was admitted at the El Dorado Correctional Facility’s Reception & Diagnostic Unit (RDU) on July 7. All inmates are photographed, fingerprinted and placed in the RDU, where they are assigned to the intake level upon admission. Males start at El Dorado and females are housed at the Topeka Correctional Facility, where their intake process occurs.
Read about Relmar’s arrest in October of 2020 at https://gbtribune.com/news/on-the-record/bsco-sting-operation-nets-drug-arrest/
Read about Relmar’s arrest in July of 2019 at https://gbtribune.com/news/local-news/gb-man-arrested-drug-charges/