First Degree Murder Charge Filed in Cherry County Homicide

Aug. 27, 2021, 4:30 p.m. ·

Kevin Kilmer (Photo: Cherry Co Sheriff)
A booking photo of Kevin Kilmer of Valentine, Nebraska.

In Cherry County court, murder charges were filed Friday morning against Kevin Kilmer, 25.

The Valentine resident had been the subject of a manhunt earlier in the week. Kilmer was located near Kilgore where he was arrested Wednesday and hospitalized for effects from the heat. Police cars filled the town, population 50, that sits near the South Dakota border. Kilmer is now in jail in Valentine. The judge required a $1 million bond for his release.

The arrest warrant filed in Cherry County Court claims Kilmer arrived at a friend’s home covered in blood and asked to use the shower. The friend called police and said Kilmer told her he had killed a woman and left the body on the side of the road. The Sheriff responded and located the suspect. The investigators claim they found bloody clothing and what appeared to be a blood splatter on the wall. Kilmer fled on foot, leading to an all points bulletin by the Nebraska State Patrol.

After tracking down Kilmer, sheriff deputies located the body of Ruth Witmass, 52.

Cherry County Attorney Eric Scott filed charges of first degree murder charges and use of a deadly weapon while committing a felony against Kilmer in county court.