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Toby Kerns, in his own words

A while back, I kvetched about the Herald and Globe not following up on the alleged Marshfield massacre plot. So I was especially eager to read this Globe front-pager on convicted plotter Toby Kerns, pegged to a sentencing hearing scheduled for today.

Now that I have, a couple points. First: kudos to the Globe and reporter Emily Sweeney for putting this story back on the public's radar. Second: did Sweeney seek out anybody who was skeptical of Kerns' own account of his involvement (or lack thereof) in the allged plot? And if so, why aren't they in the story?

Early in the story, for example, we get this:

In two recent telephone interviews from the jail, Kerns denied responsibility for the plot while repeatedly apologizing for the disruption his arrest caused. He insisted he was framed by other teenagers and that he never expected any sort of massacre to be carried out [emph. added].

Then, a bit later:

Kerns maintains his innocence and says he was set up by three of his former friends. "I never agreed to, or planned to, kill anyone," Kerns said. "I had nothing to do with these kids at the time of my arrest. In fact. I hadn't for some time. They went to the police and pointed the finger at me because they were afraid that I was actually going to turn them in [emph. added].
The Marshfield story is complex and troubling, and Kerns may well have been framed; that's certainly the sense you get reading this Boston magazine story from 2004. But as BoMag noted, there are dissenting versions of what actually happened. The Globe should have done the same.

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