Somerset man suspected in threatening ex-girlfriend commits suicide during pursuit by state police
By Mary Pickels
Published: Monday, April 1, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
A Somerset County man who allegedly brandished a firearm during a dispute with an ex-girlfriend committed suicide Saturday as he fled pursuing state police.
Randy Mel Kearns, 49, of Somerset Pike, Sipesville, died as a result of the 7:47 p.m. incident in the Jenner Township community of Acosta, according to a news release.
Trooper Joel D. Penatzer said Kearns was involved in a domestic dispute with the unnamed woman and fled after police were contacted.
Responding officers observed Kearns' vehicle and attempted to stop him, resulting in a pursuit.
“The pursuit ended when Kearns pulled into a parking lot in the Acosta area, retrieved a firearm from the rear seat, placed it under his chin and fired one round, which resulted in his immediate death,” Penatzer stated in the release.
Reached at the Somerset barracks on Sunday, Penatzer declined to elaborate on the incident or Kearns' history with law enforcement.
According to court records, state police charged Kearns on March 26 with simple assault, reckless endangerment, harassment, criminal mischief and criminal trespass in an incident in Somerset County's Lincoln Township.
Kearns was arraigned on that date before District Judge Douglas Bell and freed on $1,000 unsecured bond.
He faced a preliminary hearing before District Judge Kenneth Johnson on those charges on Tuesday.
Court records show he was being represented by the county public defender's office.
In 2007, Kearns was sentenced by Judge John Cascio to serve two years' probation, after a guilty plea to a charge of simple assault. That judgment was satisfied in 2009, court records show.
Mary Pickels is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-5401 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Kovacevic: Enough of these Steelers already
- Penguins’ Orpik out; Neal to have phone hearing
- Penguins players are not out looking for fights
- Steelers WR Brown says ‘I thought I had it clean’ after wild, near-miss finish
- Steelers’ NFL playoff hopes are all but gone in loss to Dolphins
- Fatal crash shuts down Bigelow Blvd. in Pittsburgh
- Dining news: Italian craft-beer finner at Lidia’s; Penn Brewery holiday celebration
- LaBar: WWE will be at crossroads in 2014
- Cranberry woman wins Miss Pennsylvania USA pageant
- Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Washington, Westmoreland counties weigh shale gas drilling on public land
- Rossi: Penguins’ Orpik among select NHLers going without gluten