Third teen charged with murder in slaying of Olathe East student in alleged drug deal

Matthew L. Bibee Jr. first appearance in Johnson County District Court

Matthew L. Bibee Jr. appeared in Johnson County District Court Tuesday. He is charged with shooting at a police officer and a robbery victim Sunday in Olathe.
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Matthew L. Bibee Jr. appeared in Johnson County District Court Tuesday. He is charged with shooting at a police officer and a robbery victim Sunday in Olathe.

A third teenager has been charged in the March 29 shooting death of a 17-year-old Olathe East High School student.

Matthew Lee Bibee Jr., an 18-year-old who was initially named as a person of interest and then was charged in a police shooting days later, is now facing a murder charge in the killing of Rowan Padgett.

Padgett was found shot about 5 p.m. March 29 in the 12300 block of South Mullen Court in Olathe. He died at the scene. Charges allege Padgett was killed during a drug deal or robbery.

Bibee and two other teens have been charged with first-degree felony murder in Johnson County Juvenile Court. Last week, 16-year-old Jordan A. Denny and 17-year-old Rolland Robert Kobelo were each charged.

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.

Bibee is listed in court records as having been a student at Blue Valley North High School. Kobelo, Denny and Padgett were all listed in court records as having been Olathe East High School students.

Bibee was arrested March 31 after he became a suspect in a robbery in which a victim was shot at. During a confrontation with police, charges say, he also shot at a police officer but missed.

The officer shot back and hit the suspect, who was taken to a hospital with injuries that were not thought to be life-threatening. Bibee was later booked into jail.

After the confrontation with police, Bibee was charged with attempted capital murder, attempted first degree murder, attempted aggravated robbery, battery against a law enforcement officer and battery.

On Tuesday Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe announced the additional charges filed against Bibee in connection with Padgett’s death.

Along with felony murder, Bibee is also charged with aggravated robbery.

Bibee also faces a charge of criminal damage to property from the March 31 incident.

Bibee remains in the Johnson County jail with bond set at $1 million.

The next court hearing is scheduled Thursday.

Court records indicate Bibee has been convicted in a previous criminal case in Johnson County. In 2017, he was found guilty of disorderly conduct after he allegedly fought with another person in March of that year.

He was placed on a six-month probation and ordered to complete 20 hours of community service and take an anger management class.

But in January 2018, records showed the court revoked Bibee’s probation and sentenced him to 30 days of “sanction house time” in the Juvenile Detention Center.

Another defendant in the murder case, Kobelo, has also been convicted in Johnson County. The teen pleaded guilty to making a criminal threat against another person and violating a protection order in two separate 2018 cases.

Kobelo was ordered to be placed under intensive supervised probation for nine months. It was set to be completed by June, though prosecutors filed a motion last week for the court to revoke the probation.

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Kaitlyn Schwers covers breaking news and crime at night for The Kansas City Star. Originally from Willard, Mo., she spent nearly three years reporting in Arkansas and Illinois before returning to Missouri and joining The Star in 2017.