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Vernon married Kathy and they had two children, Mike and Gretchen. He also became friends with fellow ranchers Jeremiah Otto, Phil McCarthy, and Russell Brown. At some point, the men came into conflict with residents of the Black Hat Reservation. Under Otto's direction, Vernon and the other men camped out one night and lynched three Native American juvenile delinquents. They hid the bodies to cover up their crime and were never investigated or prosecuted.
Early on in the outbreak, Vernon moved his family to Otto's homestead, Broke Jaw Ranch. He Otto, McCarthy, and Brown became known as the "Founding Fathers."
Vernon is at Charlene's memorial service with his family listening to Pat talk about her daughter. After Jake delivers some remarks, Vernon is frustrated and interrupts Jake asking him what the plan is in regards to the unknown party that attacked the helicopter. When Troy interprets his father's words as payback, Vernon nods in agreement and is satisfied with the direction the Ottos are going into. The next morning, he is having breakfast with Pat as Jeremiah informs the crowd about the missing search party.
When Madison and Troy’s team arrive, who all have bloody feet from walking without shoes. Jeremiah requests a private debrief, but Vernon insists Troy's team share their findings with everyone. Mike announces that a group of Native Americans slaughtered Phil McCarthy and the others from the outpost. Troy tries to keep everyone calm saying they can handle the situation but Mike cracks and blurts out that they're all going to die if they don't leave.
The next day, The Trimbol family load supplies onto the back of a truck. Troy guards the pantry and forbids residents from leaving the ranch with supplies. Vernon tells him that they already spoke with Jeremiah.
Vernon approaches and wants to have a word. He starts by recalling the long-lasting friendship and says his priority is his family and to protect them he will leave. Jeremiah encourages him to leave if that's what he wants. Troy asks if Mike is going, too, and Vernon says, "My family's leaving Troy!" Jeremiah says men have kids and it turns them into women.
Troy runs after the Trimbol family's RV and yells at Mike for leaving. Jake stops Troy and they fight. Jeremiah rushes in and punches Troy as a result and Madison breaks it up. The gate is opened and Vernon leaves with his family
Jeremiah and Nick later spot one of Vernon's horses in the pasture. Madison, Nick and Jeremiah find the Trimbols' RV in the road, riddled with bullets. They find the Trimbols infected or dead, put down the infected, euthanise the part eaten horse and pile the bodies into their truck. Jeremiah tells Madison that he suspects Troy killed the Trimbols.
Troy caught up with the RV and attempted to talk to Mike. The situation escalated and Troy ended up killing the entire Trimbol family, including Vernon. He is later put down by Jeremiah.
This list shows the victims Vernon has killed:
- Qaletaqa Walker's uncle (Alongside Jeremiah Otto, Phil McCarthy, and Russell Brown)
- Possibly numerous counts of zombies and unnamed people