Lafe Kern, the man charged in a two-vehicle collision that left four injured, stood moot during his arraignment in Barton County District Court Friday afternoon. So, 20th Judicial District Judge Scott McPherson entered not guilty pleas on his behalf to each of the charges.
A trial date has yet to be determined. In the meantime, Kern remains out on bond.
Kern faces a seven-count complaint, including four counts of aggravated battery while driving under the influence of drugs, one of DUI and two for driving left of center. These stem from a Feb. 19, 2015, head-on crash near Hart’s Corner, two miles south of Great Bend on U.S. 281.
Kern’s arraignment followed the conclusion of his preliminary hearing Wednesday
At the conclusion of the preliminary Wednesday, Magistrate Judge Richard E. Burgess Jr. found probable cause that the alleged crimes had occurred.
The preliminary hearing began back on Jan. 20 with the testimony of Heather Cash and her mother, Candace Lampe, who were both seriously injured in the head-on crash. They described how they are still affected by their injuries. Kern and a child in the Tahoe driven by Cash were also injured that day.
On Wednesday, there was testimony from first responders who responded to the accident. The defense argued that the charges should be dismissed because the state had not produced evidence that driving under the influence of drugs was the cause of the accident.
Assistant County Attorney Douglas Matthews is handling the prosecution. The defense attorney is Michael S. Holland II.