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Man charged in death of Wichita teen who was dragged by SUV

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Posted at 4:25 PM, Feb 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-09 17:25:09-05

WICHITA, Kan. — A man who allegedly killed a Wichita teenager by dragging her several miles as he tried to steal the vehicle she was in has been charged with first-degree murder.

Kevin Michael James Palmer, 34, of Wichita, was also charged Tuesday with felony stealing.

The 13-year-old girl, who police have not identified, was sitting in a running SUV Saturday waiting for her relatives to pick up food when Palmer jumped in and drove away, investigators said.

The girl became tangled in a seat belt when she tried to escape as the vehicle was moving and was dragged several miles.

Palmer was arrested after he tried to run away from the vehicle, police said. The girl was dead at the scene.

Palmer's next hearing is scheduled for court on Feb. 18. State prison records show he has a lengthy criminal history that includes prior theft and fleeing from law enforcement convictions, The Wichita Eagle reported.