Charges made in 2017 cold case

Published: Oct. 1, 2020 at 2:59 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - District Attorney Michael Kagay has charged one man in relation to the cold case homicide of Kianna Hodge from 2017.

District Attorney Michael Kagay says he filed criminal charges against Javon Amond Smith on Thursday in relation to the cold case homicide of Kianna Hodge from 2017.

Kagay said on March 4, 2017, around 11:41 p.m., law enforcement was dispatched to the area of 23rd St. and SE Bellview in response to reported gunshots. He said shortly after, law enforcement was dispatched to Reser’s near 6th and SE Deer Creek in response to two shooting victims arriving at the location in a gold Ford Focus.

According to Kagay, Kianna Hodge, one occupant of the Focus, died as the result of her gunshot injuries.

Kagay said as law enforcement responded to both scenes, a second vehicle, a Chevy Traverse, carrying three more shooting victims was located. He said the investigation showed that occupants of both vehicles had been struck by gunfire from the same incident.

According to Kagay, a suspect on foot had shot into both vehicles as they raced through the intersection of 23rd St. and SE Bellview. He said officers found 53 shell casings at the intersection, all 7.62 caliber.

On Thursday, Kagay said after a three-year investigation, a new development was shared during a recent cold case review meeting between Homicide Detectives, the DA’s Cold Case Investigator, the DA and senior prosecutors from the office. He said based on the new information, officials moved quickly to finalize the case. He said earlier on Thursday, officials took Smith into custody.

According to Kagay, Smith, who was a juvenile at the time of the crimes, has now been charged with 8 felony offenses related to the cold case:

  • Murder in the First Degree, Premeditated
  • Murder in the First Degree, Committed During an Inherently Dangerous Felony
  • Two counts of Criminal Discharge of a Firearm into an Occupied Vehicle
  • Aggravated Battery
  • Great Bodily Harm
  • Three counts of Aggravated Battery

Kagay said Smith is being held without bond until his detention hearing in juvenile court on Monday at 1:15 p.m. He said his office has already begun the process of seeking authority to prosecute Smith as an adult for the case. He said Smith is facing other adult prosecutions for offenses he committed as a child in Shawnee County District Court Cases 19-cr-415, 19-cr-416 and 19-cr-1391.

According to Kagay, the Topeka Police Department is handling the investigation of the case and anyone with information related to these or similar crimes should report that information immediately.

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