Sanders-Galvez found guilty

Murder one comes with sentence of life in jail

Keokuk, Iowa - BREAKING: Jorge Sanders-Galvez has been found guilty of first-degree murder in the death of gender-fluid teen Kedarie Johnson.

Jorge Sanders-Galvez walked into the South Lee County Courtroom for the last time Friday afternoon with a presumption of innocence waiting to hear his fate.
 
Judge Mary Ann Brown said, "We the jury find the defendant, Jorge L. Sanders-Galvez, guilty of the crime of murder in the first degree."
 
The unanimous decision took just one hour in this trial that has stretched on for nearly two weeks. 
 
Attorneys spent hours this morning making a final appeal to the jury to rule in their favor regarding who killed 16-year-old Kedarie Johnson.
 
State Prosecutor Laura Roan said, "Murdered by Jaron Purham and the defendant, him, on March 2, 2016. Him, that man, he aided and abetted that murder.
 
Defense Attorney Curtis Dial said, "There's nothing to show that he in any way aided or abetted Jaron if Jaron was the one who did the killing."
 
In the end, the jury decided the state met its burden of proof.
 
Des Moines County Attorney Amy Beavers said, "The malice, in this case, was extreme and the jury obviously saw that again as we saw it."
 
A unique aspect of this local murder trial was the addition of a federal prosecutor, which put the case in the national spotlight.
 
Beavers said, "It was invaluable to us to have Mr. Perras on our team and the assistance of the federal authorities, so we really greatly appreciate the Department of Justice and Mr. Perras's effort in this case."
 
For the family of Kedarie Johnson, this marks only a half point as they await a verdict in a case against co-defendant Jaron Purham who is being tried separately. 
Still, the family says today's decision was a welcome one.
 
Beavers said Johnson's mom told her, "She said thank you."
 
Sentencing has been scheduled for December 18.
 
Even though the sentence for first-degree murder is mandatory life in prison without parole, the hearing will give the Johnson family a chance to make a statement to the court.

 

It took the jury an hour to reach the verdict. The is a breaking news update. Stay tuned to Local 4 News, Fox 18 News and OurQuadCities.com for more updates on this developing story.

Shawn Loging was providing live updates from the murder trial of Jorge Sanders-Galvez. Follow Shawn on Twitter for updates or watch his timeline below.


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