UPDATE—Dragging Victim Dies; Robbery Defendants Now Face Murder Charges

November 23, 2018 — The two men who allegedly dragged 18-year-old Kemoni Miller alongside their car during a robbery now face murder charges after the young man died of the injuries they allegedly caused, Suffolk County District Attorney John P. Pappas and State Police Colonel Kerry Gilpin said today.

Miller died at Boston Medical Center Wednesday morning after four days on life support. Later that day, prosecutors approved murder charges against DEJON BARNES, 18, and KENNETH FORD, 23, who had previously been charged with unarmed robbery for the Nov. 16 encounter that left Miller grievously injured.

The investigation, led by State Police assigned to the Suffolk County Detective Unit with the assistance of Troop H detectives, State Police Crime Scene and Collision Reconstruction Units, and Boston Police, suggests that Miller had negotiated the sale of an iPhone XS to BARNES online. On Friday night, the evidence suggests, he met with BARNES and FORD on Gallivan Boulevard.

The defendants allegedly travelled to the scene in a vehicle rented by FORD’s friend. From the passenger’s seat, BARNES allegedly took the phone and closed his window on Miller’s arm as FORD accelerated at a high rate of speed.

Miller was dragged about half a mile and suffered a life-threatening head injury when he fell from the car. He was transported to Boston Medical Center but never regained consciousness.

Utilizing cell phone records, text messages, witness statements, video footage, and other evidence, investigators identified BARNES as the individual who had offered to buy the phone from Miller and FORD as the driver of the vehicle that dragged him. State Police arrested both men at a party in the West End early Sunday morning.

BARNES and FORD were initially charged with unarmed robbery and held on $100,000 cash bail each at their Nov. 19 arraignments. Their arraignments on the murder charges have not yet been scheduled. They are expected to return to court on Dec. 4 for a hearing.