Tahlequah Daily Press

November 16, 2012

Woman accused of harboring fugitive

Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — Cherokee County sheriff’s investigators and the U.S. Marshal Service arrested a woman this week as part of a search for a man they say has failed to register as a sex offender several times this year.

Dawn M. Cain, 61, was arrested Wednesday and booked on accusations of harboring a fugitive and aiding and abetting. Sheriff’s Investigator James Brown, a special deputy U.S. Marshal, said Cain is the mother-in-law of Richard James Kessinger Sr., 58.

Kessinger is wanted on two outstanding warrants for failure to register as a sex offender – a charge he’s faced four different times in Cherokee County since November 2011, according to court records. He is also facing a court case involving his alleged connection to manufacturing methamphetamine, for which he was charged last March.

Kessinger’s previous criminal history in Cherokee County includes a lengthy list involving narcotics and assault-and-battery charges.

Investigators have been searching the county for months in an attempt to locate Kessinger.

“We believe [Cain] knows where he is,” said Brown. “She has admitted to transporting him around recently.”

Cain was given a $2,500 bond and later released from the Cherokee County Detention Center. Formal charges had not been filed against her as of Thursday.

Brown said authorities expect to make more arrests as they continue their search for Kessinger.

Anyone with information about Kessinger’s whereabouts is asked to call the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office at (918) 456-2583.