WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - A man has been sentenced to 41 in prison for the dragging death of a 13-year-old girl after stealing an SUV from the parking lot of a west Wichita restaurant. 

Sedgwick County Judge Kevin Smith sentenced 37-year-old Kevin Palmer on Wednesday to 493 months. He pleaded guilty in August 2023 to second-degree murder in the death of Brianna Ibarra on February 6, 2021.  

Wichita police responded at around noon that day, a Saturday, to the report of a crash near Kellogg and Meridian. Moments later, 911 dispatched more officers to a car theft at the Texas Roadhouse on West Kellogg. 

A previously released court document stated that a couple and their two daughters were there to have lunch. One of the girls, Brianna, did not want to have lunch inside, so she waited in the family's SUV while her sister and parents went inside. 

The SUV was left running, and Brianna was in the backseat. When the family finished their meal and went to the parking lot, their vehicle was gone. 

Palmer had stolen the SUV with Brianna inside. 

A witness attempted to get the driver to stop as he chased the SUV on Kellogg, according to the probable cause affidavit. The witness continued to follow the vehicle and provided law enforcement with its route.

Brianna tried to get out but got caught in the seat belt outside the vehicle as Palmer continued to flee for several miles. 

After going back onto westbound Kellogg from Meridian, Palmer stopped suddenly near the West Street exit and fled. After being taken into custody, the document stated Palmer said, “Oh my God. God help me. Is she dead? People are saying she was hurt."

During questioning, Palmer told investigators that he was homeless and saw the vehicle running in the parking lot of the restaurant.
 

"Palmer stated that he did not see anyone in or near the vehicle, so he opened the driver’s door and entered the vehicle with the intent to steal the SUV," the document said. "Kevin Palmer stated that the driver’s door was unlocked...that he threw his backpack in the front passenger seat, then looked into the backseat of the vehicle and did not see anyone in the vehicle."

Palmer said that if he had seen anyone inside the vehicle, he would not have taken it. He denied knowing that there was someone inside. 
 

"Palmer advised that when he exited the vehicle, he saw a body trapped under the driver’s side of the vehicle," the affidavit stated.