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Man, 25, charged with capital homicide and rape in loss of life of 5-year-old Kansas woman

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TOPEKA, Kan. — A 25-year-old homeless man was charged Thursday within the rape and killing of a 5-year-old Kansas woman who died regardless of firefighters’ efforts to save lots of her life in a fuel station car parking zone.

Mickel Cherry faces one rely of capital homicide — which might enable prosecutors to hunt the loss of life penalty — and one rely every of first-degree homicide and rape within the loss of life of Zoey Felix on Monday. He was jailed in Topeka on a $2 million bond, and his subsequent court docket look has not but been decided.

Shawnee County District Legal professional Michael Kagay instructed reporters {that a} resolution about looking for a loss of life sentence gained’t be made till after a preliminary listening to to find out whether or not Cherry stands trial. That’s commonplace in capital instances.

Mark Manna, of the Kansas Loss of life Penalty Protection Unit, mentioned his workplace would characterize Cherry, however that he had no additional remark. Cherry’s household didn’t reply to messages.

Authorities have launched no particulars about the reason for Zoey’s loss of life, however former neighbors of the woman and her household imagine she, her father and Cherry had lived the previous few weeks in a grove of timber on a wooded lot close to the fuel station, simply blocks from the house the place her mom lived. They believed she was carried from the wooded lot to the fuel station, however police haven’t confirmed any of these particulars.

Kagay mentioned in a information launch that Topeka police rushed to a fuel station the place fireplace crews have been making an attempt to save lots of Zoey’s life. She was later pronounced useless. A medical examination on the hospital revealed accidents according to sexual assault.

“I believe the investigation into the homicide and rape of this 5-year-old woman is pretty full,” Kagay instructed reporters throughout a quick information convention.

Requested about probably charging different individuals, Kagay mentioned, “I’m prepared to think about any actionable investigations delivered to me,” however when he was requested whether or not he’s conscious of some other investigations, he mentioned, “I’m not.”

Timothy Phelps, deputy director of the Shawnee County Division of Corrections, confirmed that Cherry used to stay on the similar deal with as Zoey, however on the time of his arrest, Cherry was homeless.

Cherry has no legal report in Kansas, however he does have a misdemeanor legal trespass conviction in Amarillo, Texas.

Neighbors mentioned they’d raised issues that Zoey’s household house had no electrical energy and that they referred to as the police and baby welfare.

“She simply had spirit to her. Actually, very outgoing, good. She was interested by the whole lot. She’d ask you a 1,001 questions, and he or she demanded solutions for these too,” mentioned Shaniqua Bradley, a neighbor.

Topeka police confirmed Thursday that they made three visits to the house in September: one on Sept. 5 for a welfare verify following a report that the house had no electrical energy; and two home disturbance calls within the afternoon and night of Sept. 19, slightly greater than an hour aside. Police didn’t present particulars about these two calls.

Metropolis spokeswoman Gretchen Spiker mentioned in an e-mail that throughout the first name officers confirmed there was no electrical energy and that they have been instructed the kid wasn’t staying there. Police met with the kid, noticed she was in “good spirits” however nonetheless made a report back to baby welfare and property officers, Spiker mentioned.

The town moved to sentence the home however backed off when the utilities have been turned again on. Neighbors mentioned that everybody however the mom had moved out by then.

One tent and a tarp have been arrange within the woods a couple of blocks away from the house, in an space a couple of soccer area away from the pumps at a Dillons grocery retailer the place fireplace crews tried to resuscitate Zoey.

Her dad labored on the fuel station; a coworker mentioned Wednesday that he was taking time without work and the corporate hasn’t responded to an e-mail from The Related Press.

A makeshift memorial of flowers, balloons and toys sat close by.

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