Idlewild man drives through Lake County courthouse doors

Police believe crash to be a 'deliberate act'

BALDWIN — An Idlewild man has returned to jail after driving through the doors of the Lake County Trial Court.

Kenneth Kern Rogers, 62, was charged Wednesday with one count of malicious destruction of a building, $20,000 or more. He also was charged as a fourth-offense habitual offender.

According to the Lake County Sheriff's Office, deputies responded to a call at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday to the courthouse for a report of a vehicle driving through the barriers in front of the employee entrance.

Once through the barriers, the vehicle was driven through the employee entrance doors and into the courthouse before coming to a stop.

The driver was identified as Rogers and he was subsequently arrested at the scene.

No one was injured in the incident, but the courthouse was temporarily closed while the scene was investigated.

Sheriff's deputies were assisted on scene by Lake County 911 Dispatch, the Pleasant Plains Fire Department, Webber Fire Department and Life EMS.

Sheriff Rich Martin said a preliminary investigation leads police to believe driving through the courthouse doors was a "deliberate act" rather than accidental or medically related.

According to court records, Rogers was released on bond from the Lake County Jail on Monday on unrelated charges, including larceny ($1,000 or more, but less than $20,000) and receiving and concealing stolen property ($1,000 or more, but less than $20,000).

Lake County Prosecutor Craig Cooper said the malicious destruction of a building and habitual offender charge could carry with it a life sentence.

"This was an egregious offense," he said.

As of Wednesday, Rogers remains in jail on a $100,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in court on April 27 for a probable cause conference.