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Purham convicted of first-degree murder, sentenced to life in prison

A 26-year-old man has been sentenced for a 2016 shooting death of a Burlington gender-fluid teenager.

Jaron Purham, 26, was sentenced to life in prison following his trial at the Washington County Courthouse last week.

Purham received the mandatory sentence with no possibility of parole after being found guilty of killing 16-year-old Kedarie Johnson.

Purham was the second man convicted of the murder as his co-defendant, Jorge Sanders-Galvez, was also convicted of first-degree murder and is serving the same sentence.

Johnson’s body was found in an alley in Burlington with a plastic bag covering his head and another in his throat. His shirt was pulled up to reveal a white bra and two bullet holes to the chest.

The teenager presented themselves as female and dressed in women’s clothing on the night of their death. Prosectuers said Purham and Sanders-Galvez picked up Johnson and brought them back to a home where they often stayed, intending to have sex with Johnson.

Upon realizing Johnson was not biologically a female, the pair became enraged and suffocated the teen before dumping the body in an alley and pouring bleach over it to cover up evidence, then shooting the teen twice in the chest.