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Murder suspect makes first appearance in Kansas

Published on -9/21/2012, 8:14 AM

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OLATHE, Kan. (AP) -- A man charged with killing a South Carolina doctor in suburban Kansas City has made a first court appearance in Johnson County after he was extradited from South America.

The Kansas City Star (http://bit.ly/RE9qQ3 ) reported 44-year-old John Meredith Hodges, of Ladson, S.C., said Thursday that he couldn't afford a lawyer. Magistrate Judge Dan Vokins then appointed the public defender to represent him.

Hodges was booked into the Johnson County jail late Wednesday after authorities brought him back from Colombia.

Hodges is charged with first-degree murder charge in the death of 39-year-old Franchesca Brown, a pediatrician from Myrtle Beach, S.C. Police say she was attending a medical conference in Overland Park and was last seen Sept. 3. Her body was found Sept. 12 in a wooded area near the conference site.

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