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James Bradford Kerr

On the evening of April 9 and 10, 1985, the defendant, along with a co-defendant went to the Travel Lodge Hotel in Mason Ohio. At that time, Richard Dickson, Jr., 30 years of age, was working the front desk. The defendant and his co-defendant entered the lobby with the intention to rob the hotel. While one of the robbers tried to distract Mr. Dickson the other took money out of the cash register. They then took Mr. Dickson to the lobby bathroom, where, Mr. Dickson was stabbed in the heart and left to die on the bathroom floor. James Bradford Kerr and his co-defendant, Kevin Smith, both blamed the other for the actual assault. Following the murder and robbery, Kerr and Smith went to a nearby Shell Station where they used the restrooms to wash up after the robbery. They then divided the robbery proceeds and Smith drove Kerr to his parent’s home. The next day, Kerr went to the Cincinnati, Ohio area, were he passed his time drinking, smoking pot and taking LSD and other drugs. He was arrested that evening, following the arrest of Kevin Smith. Subsequent investigation by law enforcement authorities indicated that early on the evening of April 9, 1985 the two defendants planned this robbery and went to that location with a specific intent to commit the robbery. A knife, which appeared to be the murder weapon, was found in an open field behind Kerr’s home along with a pair of gloves. The knife that was found to contain human blood, and found to be consistent with the type of weapon which would have caused the fatal wound to Mr. Dickson. In August of 1985, the defendant was tried before a jury in the Warren County Court of Common Pleas and found guilty of Aggravated Murder, Aggravated Robbery and Kidnapping. He was sentenced to life in prison, with parole eligibility after twenty years on the Aggravated Murder count; ten to twenty five years on the Aggravated robbery count with ten years minimum actual incarceration; and ten to twenty five years on the Kidnapping count, with ten years minimum actual incarceration, TO BE SERVED CONSECUTIVELY. Initially, the State would note that, the defendant has been incarcerated since August 28, 1985. He would have therefore, served at least twenty years and would be eligible for parole on the Aggravated Murder conviction. However, we believe that the 10 to 25 year sentences, imposed on the Kidnapping and Aggravated Robbery charges were imposed as actual incarceration sentences to be served consecutively to the Aggravated Murder conviction. Therefore, it would appear that he should not be eligible for parole at this time.

Location: Belmont Correctional Institution
Offenses: Kidnapping
Aggravated Robbery
Aggravated Murder
Min Sentence: 40 Years
Max Sentence: Life
Date Admitted: 9/28/1985
Next eligibility Hearing Date:

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