Palmyra man arrested for domestic battery, disorderly conduct

Staff Writer Kate Wehlann

Just after 7:15 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 11, Washington County Deputies Lucas Gray and Allen Taylor were sent to Faith Victory Center Church at the intersection of Horner’s Chapel Road and U.S. 150 to meet with a woman who claimed she and her husband, Adam Kessinger, 36, Palmyra, had been in an altercation the night before and she wanted officers to go with her to collect some of her belongings.

She told officers Kessinger had hit her and she had run away on foot. She showed officers photos on her phone Kessinger had sent to her, showing the damage he had done to her vehicle after she left and told her he was going to come and find her.

She told Gray someone had called Kessinger around 6:30 p.m. the day before (Oct. 10) and told Kessinger his wife had been cheating on him. She said he got angry and left, then came back half an hour later because she had texted him, telling him she wanted to leave the house. When he returned, she said, Kessinger was drinking a bottle of whiskey and got in her face, telling her she had to leave. When she told Kessinger she wasn’t leaving, she said he grabbed her by the shoulders and pushed her backwards out the door, causing her to fall to the ground.

She said she tried to get in her car to leave, but Kessinger’s car was parked behind hers, blocking her in. Kessinger then got in the passenger seat and continued to yell at her, then put his hands on her lower neck and shoulder area, pinning her to the seat. When they exited the vehicle, she said Kessinger poured what was left of the whiskey over his head and threw the bottle at her.

She told Gray she then sat on the steps near the door and Kessinger began pushing her with his foot and kicked her in the upper leg. When she tried to crawl away, she said Kessinger kicked her down to the ground. She asked Kessinger to move his car so she could leave and he came over and hit her on the head with a closed fist. That’s when she ran away on foot and her sister picked her up and took her to their parents’ house.

She also told Gray the couple’s three children were home at the time and one had been awake and could hear the altercation.

Gray said in his report he couldn’t see any marks on the victim, but she filled out and signed a battery affidavit and the officers followed her to her home, located on Cedar Spring Lane in Palmyra.

Gray said when they arrived, he saw her vehicle, a red Volvo.

“The vehicle’s windows were broken out and it had been heavily damaged,” he said in his report. “I observed an axe through the driver’s door window.”

Gray knocked on the door and Kessinger answered. Kessinger agreed to wait outside with Allen while Gray and the victim entered the home.

Gray came back outside to hear Kessinger’s version of the events. He claimed he found out his wife had been cheating on him and he didn’t want to talk to her so he left. When she texted him, telling him she wanted to leave, he returned to stay with the kids. He said he told her to leave and she went to gather some of her things, but kept going in and out of the house and wouldn’t leave. When Gray asked if Kessinger had laid a hand on his wife, Kessinger replied he didn’t want to incriminate himself. He claimed he let her go in and out of the house for two hours before he stood at the steps and told her she wasn’t coming back inside.

When she refused to leave, Kessinger said he “put her in a bear hug” and took her outside to let her go, where she then threw herself to the ground. He claimed she was drunk and he hadn’t started drinking until she left. He claimed he couldn’t remember why his wife fled on foot instead of in her car and that he didn’t know if his foot had accidentally hit her when she got up and walked away. He admitted to damaging his wife’s vehicle after she left. Both officers said they could smell alcohol both on Kessinger’s breath and his person.

Kessinger showed Gray a small cut on his hand and claimed his wife had cut him, but he didn’t know how it happened. He later told officers he had a small piece of glass in his hand, “which could be consistent with an injury sustained from breaking the window’s of [the victim’s] vehicle,” Gray’s report said.
Kessinger shouted toward the house for his wife to come out and Gray told him to calm down and Gray went inside to talk with the victim, who told him she wanted the children to go to her mother’s house.

When Gray told Kessinger she wanted to take the kids to her mother’s house, Kessinger began to get angry, shouting and cursing. Gray told him to stop yelling and Kessinger asked if he could leave. Gray asked him if he was safe to drive and he claimed he was, asking if Gray wanted him to take a breathalizer. Gray said he and Allen could do that, but Kessinger said he would just walk away. Then he began shouting that the police were taking his kids away, continuing to should and curse and say they were kidnapping his children. Gray asked him repeatedly to stop shouting, but he continued. When his wife came out of the house, he continued to yell and curse at her. Gray placed Kessinger in handcuffs and transported him to the Washington County Detention Center.

Kessinger was charged with domestic battery in the presence of a child younger than 16 and disorderly conduct.


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