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Sheriff’s Detectives Ask Public for Tips on Homicide Suspect Michael ‘Gage’ Kent



Michael Brandon "Gage" Kent of Fresno is wanted in connection with the July 19 slaying of James Buford near Winton Park. (GV Wire Composite/Paul Marshall)
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Homicide detectives with the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office are asking for the public’s help in locating homicide suspect Michael Brandon “Gage” Kent of Fresno.

Camp host James Buford, 69, was shot and killed on July 19, 2023, near Winton Park. (Fresno County SO)

Kent, 40, is wanted in connection with the July 19 slaying of James Buford, whose body was found near Piedra and Eldwood roads along the Kings River.

Buford, who worked as a camp host at Winton Park, was transported to Community Regional Medical Center after he was found by a utility worker at about 10:30 p.m. Buford, 69, later died at the hospital.

The sheriff’s office says that Kent should be considered armed and dangerous. Anyone who sees Kent is advised by detectives not to approach him and instead call 911 immediately.

Do You Know Kent’s Location?

Anyone with information on Kent’s whereabouts is asked to contact detective Rudy Tafoya at (559) 600-8207 or

Tipsters may also call Valley Crime Stoppers at (559) 498-7867. You will remain anonymous and may be eligible for a $2,000 cash reward.

Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email

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