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Two men charged with murder in dragging death of teenager during iPhone robbery

Two Boston men who allegedly dragged a teen alongside their car while robbing him of an iPhone face murder charges after the teen died in the hospital, police and prosecutors said Friday.

Dejon W. Barnes, 18, and Kenneth R. Ford, 23, were charged with murdering 18-year-old Kemoni Miller, who died in a hospital Wednesday after four days on life support, according to a joint announcement from State Police and the Suffolk district attorney’s office.

During a recent online exchange, Miller had agreed to sell an iPhone XS to Barnes, and last Friday night, Miller went to complete the deal on Gallivan Boulevard in Dorchester, authorities said.

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Barnes arrived in a vehicle driven by Ford, authorities said. From the passenger’s seat, Barnes allegedly took the phone and closed the window on Miller’s arm as Ford drove away at a high speed.

Miller was dragged about a half-mile, authorities said. He suffered a serious head injury when he fell from the car and was taken to Boston Medical Center but never regained consciousness before his death there Wednesday morning.

Barnes, who is from Dorchester, and Ford, who is from Roxbury, were arrested early Sunday morning at a party in the West End and initially were charged with unarmed robbery, authorities said.

They were held on $100,000 cash bail each at their arraignments on the robbery charges Monday and are due back in court Dec. 4.

Arraignments on the murder charges have not yet been scheduled, authorities said.

State Police, including troopers assigned to the district attorney’s office, and Boston police used cellphone records, text messages, witness statements, video footage, and “other evidence” in their probe, authorities said.


Matt Rocheleau can be reached at matthew.rocheleau@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @mrochele.