Connor Kerner was a seventeen year old teen killer from Indiana who would murder two other teens during the course of a robbery. According to court documents Connor Kerner was at his grandparents home when he set up a drug deal with the two victims. When the victims showed up at the Indiana home they would be brutally murdered. This teen killer would then load up the bodies in the car they drove up in, went to a remote location and set the vehicle on fire. Connor Kerner would confess to an ex girlfriend that he was responsible for the double murder. In the end this teen killer would be arrested and later convicted and sentenced to 179 years in prison
Connor Kerner 2021 Information
|Date of Birth||03/31/2001|
|Facility/Location||Central Office Admin Inbound|
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*Offenders scheduled for release on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday are released on Monday. Offenders scheduled for release on a Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday are released on Thursday. Offenders whose release date falls on a Holiday are released on the first working day prior to the Holiday.
Connor Kerner Other News
Connor Kerner was sentenced to 179 years in prison Tuesday for the deaths of two Lake County teens last year.
“Unfortunately, there are no winners in a case such as this but it does provide justice to the families for the loss of Thomas Grill and Molley Lanham,” Porter County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Armando Salinas said after the sentencing. “This was an outstanding investigation by the Porter County Sheriff’s Department and a victory for the community.”
Connor Kerner said at the end of the sentencing, held before Porter Superior Court Judge Roger Bradford, that he plans to appeal.
A jury took less than 4.5 hours on Oct. 22 to convict Kerner on seven of eight felony charges related to the killing of the two teens.
Kerner, 19, of the 100 block of Kinsale, was found guilty of two counts of murder; two counts of murder in the perpetration of a robbery; two counts of robbery; and a single felony count of arson. The jury found him not guilty on a felony charge of intimidation.
Connor Kerner was 17 when he killed Lanham, 19, of St. John, and Grill, 18, of Cedar Lake, on Feb. 25, 2019, at his grandparents’ Hebron-area home after a drug deal went bad, then loaded their bodies into the Honda Civic they arrived in and set fire to the vehicle in a wooded area a couple miles away.
Kerner, Salinas said during the sentencing hearing, seemed to have everything going for him, including a great set of grandparents and parents who, though divorced, were supportive.
“He threw it all away. He is spoiled, entitled and made excuses for his behavior. As evident on the call with his mother (from jail), he never took it seriously,” he said.
The victims’ families poured their grief into the courtroom before Kerner was sentenced, noting his apparent lack of emotion during the trial, which included graphic photos of Grill’s and Lanham’s burned remains, and his attitude that he was the victim, which they said was on display during recordings of three jail phone calls with his mother, Roxann Kerner, played during the sentencing.
Lindsey Lanham, Molley Lanham’s older sister, said when her sister and Grill were reported missing, she had no idea if she was hurt or even alive, not knowing that her sister’s remains were in a cold field.
“Connor Kerner thought he could kill my sister and throw her away like garbage and walk away,” Lindsey Lanham said. “I’m sure she was so scared and so alone as she was killed senselessly by Connor Kerner.”
Lindsey Lanham said she endured photos of her sister’s burned remains and an audio recording of Kerner killing Thomas Grill during Kerner’s trial.
“I really wished he would show an inkling of emotion, but no, nothing,” she said, adding later, “I’m terrified of what he is capable of doing if given the chance.”
Stacy Spejewski, Molley Lanham’s mother, said justice may have been served and while that was a victory it would never bring her daughter back. Kerner burned her daughter’s body beyond recognition after killing her with a gun he never should have had, she said.
“Rehabilitation is not an option for you. You are beyond evil,” she said.
Spejewski said she doesn’t know how to go on without her daughter and is unrecognizable from her former life.
“I am now the mother of a murdered child,” she said.
Patricia Grill, Thomas Grill’s mother, said Kerner was not the victim and called him a coward.
“You tried to erase Thomas and Molley. You cannot. You have taken Thomas and Molley from their families but they are forever in our hearts. You will live in prison the rest of your life. You did that to yourself,” she said.
Thomas Grill, father of Thomas Grill, said Kerner disgusted him.
“You disgust me as a father, talking to your mother as you did on the phone. You’re a little punk, a twerp. Big, bad Kerner shot my kid and then beat him with a wrench,” he said, noting the cost of the trial and his own lost time attending hearings and the trial. “You’re a time thief and guess what? Your time is up.”
Chief Deputy Prosecutor Armando Salinas requested a sentence of 172 years. Bradford, noting several aggravating circumstances surrounding Kerner’s crimes, sentenced him to 179 years in the Indiana Department of Correction, adding the crimes justify sentencing enhancements, “reserved for the worst of the worst.”
“The brutal nature of the killings is among the worst I’ve seen,” said Bradford, noting the burned remains of the victims had an “extreme effect” on the victims’ families.
Bradford also noted how Molley Lanham, led into the garage by Kerner to see Thomas Grill’s body, turned around to leave and was shot in the back of the head.
“That’s almost Mafioso style,” he said.
Among the aggravating circumstances brought up during the sentencing, over the objections of defense attorneys James Voyles of Indianapolis and Mark Thiros of Merrillville, was a stabbing in October 2018 in Kerner’s home. The victim, stabbed in the stomach, initially would not tell police who stabbed him because he feared for his life.
The victim came forward after Kerner was arrested in the murder case and said Connor Kerner stabbed him because Kerner owed him $10,000 for drugs and Kerner didn’t have the money.
Prosecutor Gary Germann said three families lost a child in this incident, two of whom will not be physically present in the lives of their loved ones, and said he hoped the community appreciated how much work went into the case, particularly by Salinas, Deputy Prosecutor Christopher Hammer, Det. Sgt. Brian Dziedzinski with the sheriff’s department, and other officers.
“Because of their hard work our entire community is much safer. I cannot thank them enough for the hours and hours of hard work leading up to and during the trial,” Germann said. “In the end the sentence was totally justified by the facts and the law.”
During the trial, Voyles and Thiros tried to place the crimes on co-defendant John Silva II, 20, of Hamlet, who has pleaded not guilty to two felony counts of murder and two counts of murder in the perpetration of a robbery and remains in Porter County Jail without bond. Silva was charged May 22 with the alleged crimes and is awaiting the scheduling of a trial date.
Connor Kerner’s mother, Roxann Kerner, 47, of Chesterton, was charged last month with felony counts of perjury and obstructing justice and a misdemeanor charge of false informing related to her son’s case. She is scheduled for an initial hearing before a magistrate Wednesday.
Connor Kerner Other News
A northwest Indiana man convicted of fatally shooting two teenagers during a drug-related robbery was sentenced Tuesday to 179 years in prison.
A Porter County jury found Connor Kerner, 19, guilty in Octoberof charges including two counts each of murder and murder in perpetration of a robbery.
The Valparaiso man had allegedly confessed to a then-girlfriend that he had killed 18-year-old Thomas Grill of Cedar Lake and 19-year-old Molley Lanham of St. John in February 2019 in the attached garage of his maternal grandparents’ Hebron-area home.
Prosecutors said the target in the robbery that led to the killings was $20,000 to $50,000 worth of THC cartridges.
Kerner showed no obvious reaction to the sentence but said he intends to appeal, The (Northwest Indiana) Times reported.
Patricia Grill, mother of Thomas Grill, looked down at Kerner and accused him of attempting to erase her son and Lanham.
“You erased your life, Connor,” she said.
Stacy Spejewski, mother of Lanham, said she is still numb nearly two years after her daughter’s killing. “I am now the mother of a murdered child,” she said.
Kerner declined to comment before sentencing, but said he intends to appeal.