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Man accused of killing DeKalb high school student awaits mental tests

Police have said Jamal Kerns confessed to killing his cousin, an 18-year-old Southwest DeKalb High student. The 20-year-old’s attorney is now trying to figure out if the alleged killer’s statements were true.

Desmond Humphrey of Humphrey and Ballard Law asked the court to request a mental health evaluation, which DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Tangela Barrie soon ordered. The attorney said he turned over the necessary paperwork just before Christmas and is waiting for an appointment to be scheduled.

Humphrey said the cause of his concern for Kerns’ mental state is statements the murder suspect allegedly made to police after the May 21, 2017, death of Keschon Kerns.

“Based upon some the facts I have, some of the statements he was giving to the officers don’t exactly add up,” Humphrey told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Friday. He said some of the details the suspect gave didn’t match what actually happened, which is perplexing.

According to police, Jamal Kerns’ admission came while detectives were questioning him about another shooting. He’s accused of shooting an acquaintance in the head in early June, causing the man to have a metal plate implanted in his skull.

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In the interrogation, Jamal Kerns also told police where he hid the 9mm used to shoot Keschon Kerns three times, a warrant said.

Told by the AJC last June about the alleged admission, the suspect’s twin, Jamel Kerns, said he was confounded.

“If (he said that), then I don’t know what to say,” said Jamel Kerns, who spoke of confusion at all of the accusations against his brother. “That’s shocking.”

The suspect himself had previously told the newspaper he didn’t know who killed his cousin. He described the sight of his slain cousin as overwhelming.

“I was just trying to think what happened and who did it,” he said two days after the cousin was found dead in the driveway of their grandfather’s house. “I loved him to death, man.”

The twins told the AJC they were out at a hookah bar the night before the body turned up. They lived at the house with Keschon Kerns and their grandfather.

According to the defense attorney, the suspect has no criminal record.

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In other news:

Police said the victim had multiple gunshot wounds to his body.

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