Police looking for 4th man charged with murder of 10-year-old KCK girl
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — One of four men charged with the murder of a 10-year-old Kansas City, Kan., girl in October 2014, remained on the run Thursday afternoon.
Machole Stewart, 10, was killed in a drive-by shooting on Oct. 26, 2014.
On Thursday, almost three years since Machole’s death, prosecutors charged a juvenile*, Donald Martis, Tommy Benson and Cedric Sanders with first degree murder.
Donald Martis is in custody at a hospital. Tommy Benson, 22, and Cedric Sanders, 20, are in the Wyandotte County Jail. Meanwhile, the juvenile had not been arrested as of Thursday afternoon.
Benson and Sanders were arrested Tuesday night, and both made their first court appearance Wednesday via video. They are scheduled to be back in court on Tuesday, Oct. 3. Benson was 19-years-old at the time of the murder, while Sanders was 17-years-old.
“The family has been wanting closure in this case for a while, and we had gathered a lot of information and facts about the situation that happened. We’re just happy that we’re able to take this to the next step and possibly get some closure for the family,” KCKPD Officer Cameron Morgan told Fox 4 Wednesday.
The drive-by happened outside of Machole’s home in the 1400 block of New Jersey on a Sunday evening. Police say the shooting went on for a couple of blocks with dozens of shell casings left on the street.
Machole was at home playing with her older brother and a cousin in a rear bedroom when one of the gunmen’s bullets hit her in her head. She died instantly.
“She tried to run to the bedroom to hide. She’s a 10-year-old kid, afraid, didn’t know what to do,” her grandmother Krystal Stewart told Fox 4.
“She was a sweet child. She was adorable. She was smart, she was loving. She was just something you would love to be around. And it’s hard. It’s terrible. It’s absolutely terrible,” cousin Patrick Blackman said. “It’s nothing that wouldn’t make you smile about her. Everything about her would make you smile.”
Machole’s relatives have long believed the shooting was linked to an ongoing feud between two groups of teenaged boys and young men.
“I have been waiting and waiting on this day,” her grandmother said Wednesday night. “I have been praying with my prayer sisters every morning. I prayed that the lord would remove these boys off the streets.”
*Story was edited on Jan. 12th to reflect the status of the juvenile. When the story was first published in Sept. 2017, prosecutors did not know or release that the suspect was a juvenile and that his case would be in juvenile court.