According to court documents obtained by the Winn Parish Journal, a Workman’s Compensation death benefit claim hearing was held on October 14, 2021, to decide if the disputed claim made by Brandon Slayter, the grandson of Mr. John Kerry, against the Winn Parish Sheriff’s Office was valid.
According to the Disputed Claim for Compensation Form, the incident is described as “Winn Parish Sheriff’s Office employee John Kerry was found lying on the ground on the morning of 7-7-2020 by his great-granddaughter approximately 6 ft behind his truck. The truck door was open. Mr. Kerry appeared to have been assaulted while on the job. The incident was reported to Winn Parish Sheriffs Office. Mr. Kerry’s injuries were contusion to the left eye and face, brain bleed, orbital socket fracture. No one was at the range at the time of the incident, according to the range log. John Kerry passed away from his injuries on 8-21-2020 at St Joseph’s Hospice in Shreveport, LA.”
The minutes from the hearing reveal that the sheriff of Winn Parish has opted out of Workman’s Compensation for all Winn Parish sheriff deputies and that at the time of his death, Mr. Kerry was a sheriff’s deputy and therefore not entitled to Workman’s Comp benefits. Further, Slayter claims that neither he nor his family was aware that their grandfather was a deputy. Slayter also claims that there is no Oath of Office on file at the Winn Parish Clerk of Court’s office that would indicate that Mr. Kerry was ever sworn in as a deputy.
Judge James Braddock, who heard the case, ruled that Mr. Kerry was not entitled to Workman’s Compensation since the Winn Parish sheriff provided a notarized affidavit sworn to before a notary public that says at all times relevant to the claim in the captioned matter, Mr. Kerry was employed part-time as a Winn Parish deputy sheriff assigned to the Sheriff’s Office firing range. In the minutes of the hearing, you can read that Slayter tried to object to the sheriff’s affidavit on the grounds that it states that documents verifying that Kerry was a deputy are attached but were, in fact, never provided to the court or the claimant.
The Winn Parish Journal contacted the Winn Parish Clerk of Court’s office and confirmed no oath of office is on file for Mr. John Kerry.
The Journal previously reported on the the pending court case in which the family of Mr. Kerry are also suing Cranford Jordan and the Winn Parish Sheriff”s Office for negligent security that resulted in the death of Mr. Kerry. You can read that story here Lawsuit Filed Against Cranford Jordan and the Winn Parish Sheriff’s Office for Negligent Security
Workman’s Comp Court documents can be read here: