Three Suspects for Several Murder Cases Charged, Held on Bail

3 mins read

Suspects of three death cases in Wichita, one victim of which was a 13-year-old girl who was dragged by her family’s SUV when it was allegedly stolen and driven off, have been charged on Tuesday for several murders.

On Saturday, Wichita police arrested 34-year-old Kevin Michael James Palmer when he fled from the stolen vehicle after dragging the victim several miles along Kellogg. Family members identified the young girl as Brianna Ibarra, who is believed to have been sitting at the back of the car when it was stolen.

Series of Murders

Authorities said Palmer stole the SUV when it was left running in a restaurant parking lot. When the suspect got into the driver’s seat and drove off, Ibarra tried to flee but got caught in a seat belt. Police arrested Palmer for alleged murder and other crimes.

Police charged the suspect with first-degree felony murder and felony theft. Palmer is scheduled to appear in court on February 18. Official records showed the suspect had a long history of crimes and arrests.

Last week, authorities also took 22-year-old Dontenize Lamar Kelly in custody for suspicion of capital murder of a teenage couple. Witnesses found the remains of 17-year-old Michael Beasley outside an abandoned church on February 1. Later, others also found the body of 18-year-old Kaylah Blackmon, Beasley’s girlfriend, three days later inside her Ford Escape.

Police said that the couple was shot to death and believe the crime to have occurred inside Blackmon’s SUV. Court records showed prosecutors charged Kelly with two counts of first-degree premeditated murder. Authorities scheduled the suspect for court on March 1.

Authorities arrested a third suspect, 20-year-old Jose Garcia-Martinez, who first appeared in court in relation to a July 2020 homicide case. The victim was 47-year-old Wichita resident Roy Hayden who was brutally beaten to death by a group of attackers inside a residence at 800 block of South San Pablo on July 1 or July 2. The assailants placed Hayden’s body into the trunk of a Volvo afterward.

Officials have already charged multiple individuals in connection with Hayden’s case. They also charged Garcia-Martinez with first-degree felony murder, aggravated kidnapping, and aggravated battery. Authorities scheduled Garcia-Martinez to appear in court on February 25.

The three suspects had their hearings on Tuesday at the Sedgwick County District Courthouse. All of the individuals charged with crimes were kept in the Sedgwick County Jail.

Authorities are holding Palmer on a $500,000 bond in connection to the girl he dragged to death and $11,000 in bonds for several other cases, including theft and unrelated domestic violence.

On the other hand, Kelly has been held on $1 million bond for the double homicide of the teenage couple and $65,000 to a suspected violation of probation, The Wichita Eagle reported.

On Tuesday, authorities held Garcia-Martinez on $250,000 just before he is scheduled to appear in court.

Danielle Joyce Ong

Danielle is a local journalist with a passion for exploring stories related to crime and politics. When Danielle isn't busy writing or reading, she is usually exploring the great outdoors and all the hiking trails in the Bay.