OLATHE, Kan. — A 15-year-old from Olathe has been charged with premeditated first-degree murder. The Johnson County district attorney has already filed a motion to try the teen as an adult.

“Premeditated murder is pre-thought before the killing that you intend to kill that individual,” Steve Howe said, “that premeditation is a higher-level first-degree murder.”

The teen has not been identified yet since the 15-year-old is still charged in juvenile court.

Investigators believe the teen shot and killed a 29-year-old man at an Olathe home.

Olathe police responded to an unknown medical call near Purdom Street and Nelson Road at 11:30 a.m. Saturday. Officers found the 29-year-old victim shot in the head. Police have identified him as Daniel Ward.

FOX4 found the same address is listed for Ward and the teen’s mother in 2021.

Last year, Ward was convicted of aggravated battery, according to online court records. The teen suspect also has a criminal history — two cases of battery and one case of disorderly conduct.

Howe said the DA’s office and a judge look at all of that when deciding to try a juvenile as an adult. They also assess the seriousness of the offense.

“The court also evaluates whether or not that person can be rehabilitated within the juvenile system,” Howe said, “or that because of a variety of factors they cannot, the juvenile system cannot meet their needs or the needs of the community.”

Along with the murder charge, the 15-year-old is facing charges for criminal use of a weapon and possession of a firearm by a minor.

The recent increase of young people being charged with serious crimes in Johnson County has caught the attention of Howe and law enforcement. 

In May, six teens were charged in an Olathe killing of a 19-year-old near Black Bob Park. 

Howe said the violence is troubling.

“There has been a disturbing number of homicides here in Olathe involving individuals under the age of 18,” Howe said. “But we see no patterns at this point where we can attribute it to one certain thing, but it does concern us.”

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