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      Man accused in Myrtle Beach doctor's murder appears in court

      John Meredith Hodges

      A man charged with the killing of a Myrtle Beach pediatrician in the Kansas City area had his first appearance before a judge Thursday, after being extradited from South America.

      John Meredith Hodges, 44, of Ladson, South Carolina, was assigned a public defender to represent him, according to district court records in Johnson County, Kansas.

      Hodges is being held at the Johnson County Detention Center on a $25 million bond.

      Hodges is charged with first degree murder in the death of Franchesca Brown, 39, of Myrtle Beach. Authorities say Brown's body was found Sept. 12 near an Overland Park, Kansas hotel, where she had been attending a medical conference. Court records show he is also charged with identity theft and criminal use of credit cards in relation to the case.

      Overland Park police say Hodges, who was believed to be a boyfriend of Brown's, fled to Colombia, South America, where he was captured by Colombian police last week.