KBI makes arrest in 1982 Hutchinson murder

RENO COUNTY – The Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) arrested a Phoenix man connected to a cold case homicide that occurred in Hutchinson nearly 42 years ago, according to a KBI press release.

Jerry Allen, 75 of Phoenix, was arrested for his role in the 1982 murder of Michael McKeown. He was brought back to Kansas, and was booked into the Reno County Jail on Wednesday morning. 

Agents secured a warrant for Allen’s arrest on January 25. The Phoenix Police Department arrested Allen around 7 p.m. at a residence at 4501 W. Acoma Dr., in Phoenix. He was arrested for first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder. Allen was booked into the Maricopa County Jail. Extradition was waived, and Allen was transported to Kansas, where he will face charges.

Michael McKeown, then age 44, of Hutchison, was found dead on the morning of March 24, 1982. The Hutchinson Police Department and the KBI investigated McKeown’s murder. Investigators believe he was shot and killed the prior night in his car, while it was parked in the lot outside of his apartment at 320 E. Sherman St., in Hutchinson.

In the last year, KBI agents conducted several key interviews in three states, which provided the additional evidence needed to proceed with charges in this cold case.  This investigation is ongoing. 

All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. The Reno County District Attorney’s Office will prosecute the case. A first appearance is scheduled for Friday, March 8 at 1:30 p.m.

Dane Hicks is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and the United States Marine Corps Officer Candidate School at Quantico, VA. He is the author of novels "The Skinning Tree" and "A Whisper For Help." As publisher of the Anderson County Review in Garnett, KS., he is a recipient of the Kansas Press Association's Boyd Community Service Award as well as more than 60 awards for excellence in news, editorial and photography.

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