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Son of Okla. sheriff, state senate candidate dies after drug arrest

McALESTER, Okla. — The son of Pittsburg County, Okla. sheriff Joel Kerns, who ran for a state Senate seat Tuesday, has died after being arrested on a drug complaint.

Joel Kerns told the McAlester News-Capitol that Jaelon Kerns died early Tuesday at a McAlester hospital.

Joel Kerns said his son was arrested by McAlester police about 2:30 a.m. Tuesday for possession of a controlled substance, then began suffering convulsions while at the jail.

The sheriff said he and his wife posted bail and took Jaelon Kerns to the hospital, where he died. The body is being sent to the state medical examiner for an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

Joel Kerns was the Democratic nominee for the state Senate in District 7 and lost to Republican Sen. Larry Boggs in Tuesday’s election.

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