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Kenosha County Eye

DA Graveley Keeps Allegedly Dangerous Duo Out Of Jail – Won’t Say Why

James (Jay) Kerner and Tiana Kerner
(Social Media)

If what is being alleged in two criminal complaints, filed on March 20, 2023, is true, a husband and wife may go to prison for the rest of their lives. The 30 pages in the criminal complaints detail allegations that are as bad as they get. For now, however, Kenosha District Attorney Michael Graveley (D) wants to keep them out of jail, and won’t say why. James (Jay) Kerner (45) and his wife, Tiana Kerner (41), both of Mt. Pleasant, WI, are facing 86 and 189 years in prison respectively. Instead of asking a judge for arrest warrants, however, Graveley trusts that the two will go to court and not endanger anyone else. He issued the two Summons and Complaints. Jay Kerner, until he was recently fired, was the director of emergency management for Racine County. He was a high-ranking employee with the Wisconsin Department of Corrections before that.

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According to the criminal complaints, on October 13, 2022, a scared 13-year-old little girl told her friend’s Mom that over the last three years, she had been physically and sexually abused by her 41-year old stepmother, Tiana. She told her friend that she didn’t want to go home. She had visible bruises. She detailed physical abuse including being beaten with a hammer and wooden pole, being strangled to the point of losing consciousness, and being waterboarded. She also said Tiana would have her 16-year-old brother punch her in the face. She also said that Tiana made her and her brother commit incest as a way to dissuade them from reporting the abuse.

A female officer arrived at the friend’s house and witnessed numerous bruises all over the little girl’s body. Police made contact with James, and he denied any abuse.

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The 13-year-old went to a Child Advocacy Center to be interviewed by child interview specialists. She spoke about being hit in the neck with a pole so hard that everything went black. She was beaten with a hammer on her foot. She was forced to eat canned tuna, canned vegetables, spicy ramen noodles and cold Spaghetti O’s as punishment. She described being water-boarded in the shower by Tiana as well. She then went on to explain how Tiana would strangle her until she blacked out. Tiana would then make fun of her becuase she would “twitch” when blacking out. She would describe losing consciousness, awaking, and seeing stars. Tiana made her and her brother “make out” and later made the two touch each other’s genitals. Tiana also held a lighter under the 13-year-old’s genitals and the 16-year-old’s genitals.

Police recovered cell phone evidence and video evidence that corroborated many of the allegations. A search warrant conducted of the home also corroborated many of the allegations.

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There are instances of direct abuse from Jay Kerner as well, although not as much as Tiana. He is likely charged for allowing this to occur in his presence.

Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Gravley (D)
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)
Assistant District Attorney Emily Gaertner (D)
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

Since there was a conflict of interest in this case, the Pleasant Prairie Police Department handled the second half of the investigation. The Racine DA, Patricia Hanson (D), also recused herself and asked Kenosha County DA Mike Graveley (D) to handle the charging on this case. Graveley appointed Assistant District Attorney Emily Gaertner (D) as special prosecutor.

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The duo could have asked a court commissioner for a warrant and had the two arrested, but Graveley instead issued them notice to appear in court and didn’t believe they belong in jail. They are both scheduled to appear in Racine County Circuit Court on April 26, 2023, at 2:00 pm. They will appear in front of Commissioner Alice Rudebusch (D) who is known for giving low cash bails or cash-less bails.

We made contact with Graveley many times, and he refused comment. One of the last times Graveley made such a terrible decision, a man lost his life.

Criminal Complaint James Kerner
Criminal Complaint Tiana Kerner


  • Kevin Mathewson

    Kevin Mathewson is a disciple of Christ, husband and a father to two wonderful children. Mathewson was born and raised in Lake County, IL and worked as a police & fire dispatcher from 2005 to 2010 in Round Lake Beach, IL. Mathewson moved to Kenosha County in 2006, later being elected to the position of Alderman of the 8th District in 2012 and 2016. Mathewson is a private investigator, security contractor, journalist, and photographer. He enjoys spending time with his family, watching movies, camping and boating. His favorite amendment is the second, followed closely by the first. He loves his country and community.


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18 Responses

  1. If all is if you say, we simply have to get rid of our da at the very least. This is completely unacceptable with nothing to lose, facing that many years, what if they simply decided to kill the witnesses?

  2. Yes, a similar thing happened before. It was the monster who trafficked Chrystul Kizer. It is very strange how Graveley and his office puts such a low priority on child sex offenses. I wonder why.

    1. This is a classic example of the public not knowing……this case is not similar to. CK’s case. I’m sure DCFS grabbed the kids and took them away, probably to a safe relative. I agree the lady should be locked up but the S/C given to the guy was ok. He obviously was no threat to the community, his kid was safe and if he fled, the court of public opinion would trample him.
      As for the other case…that guy got what is coming to him and CK will get what is coming to her.

  3. Poor houdini had Graveley prance out the jail house snitches and he got convicted. Jury must’ve been tired and needed to go for a job interview. Anyway, no phone calls recorded when they’re at home but in the jail…? Big liberals get away being abusers, and nothing is ever said!

  4. The charade of circle the wagons with and by public officials continues. Gravely, Hanson, and Wiedenfeld (Walworth Co) apparently have an agreement whereby when a case is transferred to the neighboring county, the neighboring DA does what Graveley desires, often step by step with cell phone contact. These Uniparty DAs scratch one another’s back and are not held accountable by voters for a court case in the neighboring county. It seems Graveley desires Democrat voters to remain intact.

  5. When is Gravely’s term up? This idiot needs to go!!!! It’s obvious that he doesn’t care about the law or any child’s safety! What these people did is so disturbing, how can you not lock them up!!! ?

  6. GRAVELY, SITTING ON HIS HANDS, like always, He has issued arrest warrant for less on less evidence. this justice system is a joke in Kenosha, all agenda, bottom line.
    fire them all !!! start new.

  7. And, remember, death is not an option….

    Have these two as the kids’ parents or have DCFS control where these kids go?

    Both really horrible choices…..

  8. These 2 animals make me sick! And what, because of who he WAS, you don’t put them in jail! Gravely you’re a poor excuse of a DA! These 2 sick disgusting animals better go to prison! Omg how can you even think of doing these things to children!!!

  9. Democrats suck. This Jay Kerner was my training officer when I worked in the prisons. Would have never guessed he deserved a tire iron to the nuts. I hope he gets raped in prison. Fuck PREA. Anyways, they can both rot. Enjoy the same institutions you served dickheads.

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