State: Kedarie Johnson kidnapped, suffocated and executed

Prosecutors layout timeline on night Johnson was killed

Keokuk, Iowa - The trial against one of two people charged with killing a Burlington teen is underway in South Lee County, Iowa.

Today, prosecutors pieced together the last few hours of Kedarie Johnson's life.

Johnson was described as a gender fluid teen and prosecutors say his identity is part of the trial.  

Jorge Sanders-Galvez pleaded not guilty to the charge of first-degree murder. 

He and his cousin Jaron Purham are both charged in the 16-year-old's death.

After two full days of jury selection, prosecutors say the popular Burlington teen was kidnapped, suffocated and executed. 

Those were the words of Justice Department attorney Christopher Perras, as he delivered the opening statement.

Perras says it all started when the co-defendants, Jorge Sanders Galvez and Jaron Purham noticed 16-year-old Kedarie Johnson at a grocery store in March of 2016... dressed as a girl.

Federal Prosecutor Christopher Perras said, "Notice, what appeared to be a cute high school girl all by herself. When Kedarie left the HyVee, he flew his braids to the side and has a big smile on his face."

Perras was added by Attorney General Jeff Sessions to look at possible federal hate crime charges in this case.

The state claims the defendants followed Johnson to a friends house where he was going to pick up bras.

She testified this morning that Johnson told her, he was scared.

Johnson's friend Amari Washington said, "He said Lumni was following him." 

Des Moines County Attorney Amy Beavers said, "Lumni was following him?"

Washington replied, "Yes."

Lumni is a nickname for Galvez Sanders. 

The state says sometime after leaving Amari Washington's house; the defendants took Johnson to a place they were staying. 

Perras said, "During this trial, you're going to learn that the defendant and Jaron had sex with lots of different girls. Sometimes apart, sometimes even together. Where did they have sex with these girls, at 20610 Madison, the same place they brought Kedarie."

Perras says the defendants shoved a plastic bag down Johnson's throat and wrapped one around his head, then shooting him twice in the chest, leaving his body in an alley and pouring a bottle of bleach to destroy their DNA.

Perras said, "Despite those and other efforts by the defendants, they left behind a trail of evidence that would ultimately lead to their capture."

Following Perras, the defense waived presenting an opening statement, which is there right. 

The state then started calling their witnesses including friends with Johnson the day he was killed, one of the 9-1-1 callers and law enforcement.

Tomorrow, the Des Moines County Attorney says they'll hear from the medical examiner.

The trial is expected to last at least two weeks. 


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