Trial in Burlington teen's slaying moving to Henry County

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BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) - A judge has approved moving to another southeast Iowa county the trial of one of two men accused of killing a Burlington teenager.

The Hawk Eye reports ( that a judge ruled Thursday that 23-year-old Jorge Sanders-Galvez's trial would be held in adjacent Henry County, Iowa instead of Des Moines County. His lawyers cited extensive pretrial publicity in requesting the change of venue. The trial is scheduled to begin July 25 in a Mount Pleasant courtroom.

The judge also granted his request for a trial separate from that of his co-defendant, Jaron Purham. They're accused of shooting to death 16-year-old Kedarie Johnson in March 2016.

Purham is awaiting trial on unrelated charges in Missouri.


Friends and family share memories of 16-year-old Burlington teen

By Ashley Davis - March 5, 2016

BURLINGTON, Iowa (KWQC) - Friends and family gathered Saturday night to honor Kedarie Johnson, a Burlington teenager who was found dead in an alley at 4th and Walnut Street Wednesday night.

Police are not releasing a lot of information about the 16-year-old and how he died, but the community is in mourning.

Hundreds of people shared their favorite memories about Johnson Saturday night, saying he had a smile that could light up a room and a laugh you could hear for miles.

"He brought a lot of joy to the school and a lot of happiness you know and that's just one of the major factors that we're going to be missing," Shawn Porter, a friend of Johnson, said.

Many Saturday night, joined together to share tears and laughs to remember Johnson and his energetic personality what many call one in a million.

"Kedarie was the greatest friend you could find, obviously and he would just make you laugh on the worst days of your life," Theresa Grant, a friend of Johnson, said.

"Out of any kid I mean he just had such a big heart and I just couldn't understand how or why this could happen," Teresa Ioerger, a teacher at Burlington High School, said. "How this could get to this point, this kind of violence to a kid that would never-never hurt anybody?"

Friends and family of Johnson are still looking for answers.

"He was just so fun and full of life, I don't know why somebody would do this to him," Jacelyn Hallivurton, a friend of Johnson, said.

"It's got to stop, it's got to stop some where, some way some how, it was my son, but I'm sure everybody out here got kids, that could've been anybody's child that lost their life," Katrina Johnson, Kedarie Johnson's mother said during the vigil Saturday night. "I hope this is a wake up call for everybody, a life gone and taken too soon, he had his whole life ahead of him."

Just days after losing her 16-year-old son, Johnson's mother is one of many who wants the violence to end here.

"For a community to come together like this I think that trumps all the hate, it just shows all the love, the support, what we want to accomplish in this community," Gigi Johnson with the group, Citizens Against Crime, said.

"I hope that something good comes out of this, if anything good comes out of this, I hope it's because of Kedarie, because his death is not good, but if good can come out of it through anything through showing it, that so many people have come together today to show their love for Kedarie, I can only hope that good comes out of it," Harmony Bible Church Pastor and Director of Maple Leaf Center, Nathan Williams said.

Johnson's visitation and funeral services will be on Wednesday. The visitation is from 3-6 p.m. in Burlington High School's gym and funeral service will begin after that.