November 20, 2003
An Oswego County sheriff's deputy recently suspended from the department appeared Wednesday in Fulton City Court to answer accusations of domestic abuse. Thomas A. Kerfien, 28, of Fulton, was accused of threatening his wife, Alicia, with a claw hammer Nov.4 in front of their two young children... Kerfien was charged with second-degree harassment, endangering the welfare of a child and second-degree menacing... Trouble at the Kerfien home began Nov. 4 when Alicia Kerfien told her husband that she wanted to leave him... Thomas Kerfien began yelling and swearing, his wife told police. He grabbed her, squeezed her jaw with his hand and kicked a vacuum cleaner hard enough to break its handle... Then he picked up a claw hammer, stepped forward and raised it toward his wife, who was holding their 2-year-old daughter at the time... Thomas Kerfien threatened to harm himself, his wife told police, went to his gun locker and removed a handgun. He cocked the gun, walked to a small back room of the house and blocked the entrance... Officers also charged Kerfien with second-degree harassment after his wife told police he pushed her to the ground, grabbed her throat and placed his hands over her mouth and nose for about 10 second in late October... The department will conduct an internal investigation to determine whether he will be reinstated, [Undersheriff Robert] Lighthall said. Lighthall declined to say whether Kerfien had ever faced disciplinary action before...
ACCUSED EX-DEPUTY TELLS OF JOB STRESS - MAN, ACCUSED OF THREATENING WIFE, SAYS PROBLEMS AT WORK CAUSED PROBLEMS AT HOME.
February 23, 2004
Delen Goldberg Staff writer
A former Oswego County sheriff's deputy accused of domestic abuse said stress from his job led to problems with his wife... "It was a case of things getting out of control because of stress from the job," Kerfien said Wednesday... Kerfien resigned as a deputy in November. He is now unemployed... "The stress was something I thought I could take care of," he said. "I tried to turn the switch off when I got home from work, but that didn't always work." In a written statement to police, Alicia Kerfien said the claw hammer incident was not the first time her husband abused her. "We have had physical and verbal fights in the past, and he has threatened me and threatened to hurt himself if I leave"... The couple has been together 10 years... Kerfien still lives with his family and said he's been getting counseling. "Things are a lot better now," he said. "We don't argue"... his case was adjourned until next month.
EX-DEPUTY ADMITS MISTREATING WIFE - THOMAS A. KERFIEN, OF FULTON, RECEIVES CONDITIONAL DISCHARGE ON CHARGE.
June 12, 2004
A former Oswego County sheriff's deputy charged last year with domestic abuse admitted this week in court to mistreating his wife... pleaded guilty in Fulton City Court to one count of second-degree harassment, a violation. City Judge Spencer Ludington sentenced Kerfien to a one-year conditional discharge. That means Kerfien won't be sent to jail if he abides by all laws and is not re-arrested within the next year. "Stay out of trouble," the judge told Kerfien on Wednesday after handing down his sentence. "I know you will"... Kerfien has since found another full-time job, although he declined this week to say where he works... Ludington also issued Kerfien an order of protection. Kerfien may have contact with his wife, with whom he continues to live, but may not harass, alarm or annoy her... Kerfien said he considered the ordeal a learning experience that actually helped bring his family closer together. "My family is doing great," he said. "In a weird way - I wouldn't know how to put it into words - but all this helped."