Crime

16-year-old girl is charged with felony murder in slaying of teenager in Olathe

Family of Overland Park teen shot and killed Friday raises money to stop gun violence

Rowan Padgett, a 17-year-old Olathe East High School senior, was fatally shot about 5 p.m. Friday in the 12300 block of South Mullen Court in Olathe. His mother, Semie Rogers remembers her son.
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Rowan Padgett, a 17-year-old Olathe East High School senior, was fatally shot about 5 p.m. Friday in the 12300 block of South Mullen Court in Olathe. His mother, Semie Rogers remembers her son.

A 16-year-old Olathe girl has been charged with felony murder in the killing of Rowan Padgett, an Olathe East High School senior who was found shot Friday in a suburban cul-de-sac, according to court documents.

Jordan A. Denny is charged in Johnson County Juvenile Court with first-degree felony murder and with obstruction by giving false information to investigators.

The charges allege that Padgett was killed during a drug deal involving Xanax, a drug used to treat anxiety and panic disorders.

In Kansas, a person can be charged with first-degree felony murder even if they did not pull the trigger in a shooting. They can be charged if a homicide occurs during the commission of an inherently dangerous felony.

The Johnson County District Attorney is requesting that Denny be prosecuted as an adult.

Denny, who also is enrolled at Olathe East High School, was arrested Friday and is being held in Johnson County Juvenile Detention. Her first court appearance is scheduled for April 22.

Padgett was found shot about 5 p.m. Friday in the 12300 block of South Mullen Court in Olathe, which is where court records say Denny lives.

Police bulletins and social media posts tell a story of a teenager who ran away from home more than once.

Police had reported Denny missing in early October. She had been staying with friends in Olathe and refused to come home, police said at the time.

Police reported that she was found about an hour after they released her photo asking for help locating her.

Multiple times, pleas for help were posted under her father’s Nextdoor neighborhood account, saying that his daughter had run away and asking people to contact him if they saw her.

“My daughter ran away again tonight,” a March 8 post said. The post was updated to say that police had found her and offering thanks to neighbors for their support.

Padgett was weeks from celebrating his 18th birthday. Upon graduation, he planned a career in sales. He created a LinkedIn profile and began working with a career coach.

Colonial Life Insurance offered him a job and agreed to pay for his sales training, according to his mother, Semie Rogers.

During the investigation of Padgett’s killing, Olathe police named as a person of interest 18-year-old Matthew Bibee Jr., who is now facing criminal charges in a separate case in which he is accused of shooting at a police officer and another person.

Bibee is charged with attempted capital murder and other crimes. None of those charges appeared related to Padgett’s killing.

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Glenn E. Rice covers crime, courts and breaking news for The Kansas City Star, where he’s worked since 1988. Rice is a Kansas City native and a graduate of the University of Central Missouri.
Robert A. Cronkleton gets up very early in the morning to bring readers breaking news about crime, transportation and weather at the crack of dawn. He’s been at The Star since 1987 and now contributes data reporting and video editing.
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