OREGON CITY, Ore. (AP) — A Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office deputy pleaded guilty this month to a misdemeanor menacing charge in connection with domestic violence charges involving his former girlfriend.
Brandon Kearns, 36, was initially charged with strangulation and harassment in connection with a Jan. 15, 2019, incident. He was sentenced to 24 months of probation on the menacing charge.
John Wentworth, a chief deputy district attorney in Clackamas County and the incoming district attorney, said Tuesday that his office consulted with the victim and “weighed the risks of coming away from the Clackamas County case with nothing and decided making a criminal record of Mr. Kearns’ behavior with a meaningful charge was the most important outcome.”
The case was one of two Kearns faced in connection with the same victim, who also worked for the Sheriff’s Office.
In May 2019, Kearns was accused by Las Vegas authorities of domestic battery by strangulation and domestic battery. In that case, Kearns was convicted of disorderly conduct and violating a restraining order, and received a suspended jail sentence, according to court records.
According to a Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office report, the woman said he assaulted her in her Oregon City home. She also told the investigators she met Kearns in Las Vegas where he allegedly grabbed her arm, causing “a large bruise.”
According to court records, the next day, he hit and strangled her. She sought medical treatment and was diagnosed with bruised vocal cords, according to court records.
Kearns, who started with the agency in 2008, was placed on unpaid administrative leave after he was indicted in 2019. Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Marcus Mendoza said Kearns has resigned.
Kearns on Tuesday told The Oregonian/OregonLive that “the incidents that were alleged weren’t 100% accurate.” He said the Sheriff’s Office should have handed off the criminal investigation of one of its own to an outside agency.
According to the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards & Training website, Kearns’ state law enforcement certification remains active.