Teen charged in Dr. Kevin Rodgers’ murder makes first court appearance

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Ka'ron Bickham-Hurst at initial appearance on December 18, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – An 18-year-old accused of murdering a well-known Indianapolis doctor made his first appearance before a judge Monday morning.

Ka’ron Bickham-Hurst was arrested last Friday in connection to the murder of Dr. Kevin Rodgers. Rodgers was found shot to death inside his northwest side home last month.

Bickham-Hurst faces charges that include felony murder and burglary in connection with Dr. Rodgers’ death. He also faces a burglary charge and four counts of theft related to several other cases.

Police believe Bickham-Hurst, a 15-year old male and possibly two other young people broke into Dr. Rodgers’ home on Nov. 20, the day the doctor was found shot to death in his home. At this time, it’s unclear who prosecutors believe actually shot the doctor.

“We have charged the individuals with felony murder, which indicates they were involved with the commission of a felony when this murder occurred,” said Marion County Chief Trial Deputy Prosecutor Ryan Mears. “This is an ongoing investigation and during the course of that investigation I think we’ll be able to provide more concrete answers to questions like that.”

According to police reports, Bickham-Hurst is also listed as a suspect in another burglary involving a 62-year-old victim at an apartment complex on Indy’s northwest side the Friday before Rodgers was killed.

Dr. Kevin Rodgers was the program director of the emergency medicine residency at the IU School of Medicine and the president of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. He was also an assistant lacrosse coach at Cathedral High School.

Police were already investigating Bickham-Hurst in connection with several other burglaries on the northwest side of Indianapolis. Officers were tracking his movements on the day Dr. Rodgers was killed. Investigators tracked the suspects by following several stolen items that were allegedly pawned by Bickham-Hurst.

After speaking with Bickham-Hurst, they searched three vehicles connected to his story.  In one car, they found Cathedral High School championship rings with the name Rodgers engraved on the side. In another car, they found a handgun that matched shell casings found in Dr. Rodgers’ home.

“There is some DNA evidence that we intend to introduce at trial that we believe will connect individuals to this crime,” Mears said.

It is possible prosecutors will seek to waive the 15-year-old suspect to adult court, but Mears said that decision had not yet been made.

It’s also possible more arrests will be made in the case, as neighbors reported seeing four young people getting out of a car at Dr. Rodgers’ home on the day of the murder.

Bickham-Hurst’s father had no comment following Monday’s court hearing, but told the judge he intended to hire an attorney to represent his son. Ka’Ron Bickham-Hurst is scheduled back in court for a pretrial hearing on Jan. 30. A trial date has not been set.

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