Battery elevated to attempted murder for father, son


JASPER — More serious charges now await a father and son accused last month of using a truck to ram another driver’s vehicle before assaulting that other motorist.

Brandon Karns

Travis T. Karns, 46, Loogootee, and his son, Brandon L. Karns, 21, Odon, were arrested Feb. 22 after the Jasper Police Department investigated a report at 1:41 a.m. that vehicles appeared to be chasing each other in the area of Huck’s at the Y in Jasper.

Initially, the most serious charged filed against the father and son were Level 3 felony counts of aggravated battery. Now their charges include Level 1 felony counts of attempted murder and Level 3 and Level 5 felony counts of criminal confinement.

Police had reported that a 2006 Ford F-250 driven by Travis Karns and also occupied by his son, had rammed another vehicle several times in the area of Second Street and U.S. 231.

Travis Karns

After the victim’s vehicle was disabled on the side of U.S. 231 in front of O’Reilly’s Auto Parts, police alleged, the Karnses assaulted the male who had been driving the disabled vehicle with wooden and metal clubs.

Officers investigating allegedly located marijuana, methamphetamine, several pills that were Schedule IV controlled substances and drug paraphernalia.

Charging information states Jasper police responding to the initial call stopped the Karns truck and found it was occupied by the father, the son and a 31-year-old woman.

The victim, identified in court documents as a 23-year-old man, had said the Karns truck had driven toward his pickup truck at a high rate of speed but he had been able to drive his vehicle out of the way. As the victim tried to drive way, his truck struck a large piece of loose concrete in an alley that deflated one of his tires.

As he turned onto U.S. 231, the victim told authorities, the Karns truck rammed his vehicle from behind, an act that reportedly found Karns’ truck going off the road and damaging landscaping near McDonald’s.

The victim turned into the Hardee’s parking lot and parked near the drive-thru. The victim said the other truck drove over a curb and through the grass between Second Street and Hardees. The victim drove to the IGA parking lot with the Karns truck allegedly following and ramming the victim’s truck.

The victim drove on Indiana Street and then to U.S. 231 and, at some point, a wheel fell off his truck, according to court documents.

After the victim’s truck was disabled, the victim reported, the males in the other truck exited their vehicle carrying clubs. The two men were alleged to have beat on the victim’s truck windows and truck body before Brandon Karns was alleged to have beat his feet and Travis Karns allegedly hit him in the head several time until friends of the victim pulled up in a car and the father and son got back in their truck and drove north on U.S. 231.

The victim’s friends allegedly told authorities that, 15 minutes prior to the Karns truck showing up at Huck’s, they had observed a white Chevrolet truck allegedly driven by Brandon Karns that seemed to be following a female later identified as the 31-year-old woman who had been walking in the area of McDonald’s and Hardees. The friends wanted to keep an eye out for the female because it appeared she and the young male were in some sort of argument, according to court documents.

At some point, according to court documents, Brandon Karns noticed the friends were following and watching him and allegedly yelled at them and asked if they wanted to fight. The white Chevrolet left but Brandon Karns returned about 15 minutes later in the truck driven by Travis Karns, according to court documents.

The victim and his friends told authorities they did not know who the other men were.

The 31-year-old woman allegedly told police Travis and Brandon Karns had picked her up from her hotel on Indiana Street and she was not aware of the incident that had just transpired.

The victim was reported to have gone to the emergency room where he received two staples to close a cut on the right side of his head. He allegedly detailed lingering effects of the assault when talking with authorities and said he had feared for his life.

Authorities also say in court documents that the woman had an active no contact order against Brandon Karns who is charged in Daviess County with strangulation and two counts of domestic battery, with the woman being the victim.

Travis and Brandon Karns are each charged with Level 1 felony counts of attempted murder, Level 3 and Level 5 felony counts of criminal confinement, Level 5 felony counts of battery resulting in serious bodily injury and battery by means of a deadly weapon, Level 6 felony counts of methamphetamine possession and criminal recklessness and misdemeanor counts of illegal possession of a controlled substance (three counts), possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia. Brandon Karns is additionally charged with misdemeanor invasion of privacy and Travis Karns is additionally charged with misdemeanor leaving the scene of an accident.

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