Closing arguments made in hearing into Ronnie Bower’s murder


Highlights

Fairmont junior Ronnie Bowers was ‘innocent bystander’ in fight near AlterFest.

UPDATE @ 4:15 p.m.:

Closing arguments were made Monday afternoon on whether a 16-year-old facing murder charges in the September homicide of a Fairmont High School junior will be tried as an adult.  A decision will likely come next week on how the case will proceed against Kylen Gregory, Montgomery County Juvenile Court Judge Anthony Capizzi said.

UPDATE@ 12:47 p.m.:

A key witness in the Kettering murder case said he initially lied to authorities about the Sept. 4 shooting near Alterfest.

The 17-year-old said he later told authorities his 16-year-old best friend shot Fairmont High School student Ronnie Bowers.

“Once I found out he was shot I got scared,” the 17-year-old testified Monday morning.”

He later told police Kylen Gregory shot Bowers “because I couldn’t go down for something I didn’t do,” the 17 year old said.

Prosecutors are seeking to try Gregory, 16, as adult on murder charges.

A 15-year-old who authorities said was also at the shooting scene is also expected to testify against Gregory.

UPDATE: @ 11:41 a.m. 

The 17 year old “best friend” of a teen accused of murder described moments leading up to the homicide and how he hid the gun afterward.

The teen who pleaded guilty in November said he saw the weapon in Kylen Gregory’s hand just after the gun fired in what authorities said was the fatal shooting of Ronnie Bowers Sept. 4 shortly after he left AlterFest.

The 17 year old testified for about an hour Monday morning.

The case is expected to resume this afternoon.

UPDATE @ 10:38 a.m. 

A 17-yr-old witness testifies Gregory had gun on Willowdale any fired a shot at the scene. This witness said he hid a gun wrapped in shirt in a laundry room inside his apartment building, and put bullets in mirror in his bedroom.

The witness testified he and Gregory were best friends.

UPDATE @ 10:07 a.m. 

Defense attorney for Gregory objects to the urn brought in by the victim’s family. The judge says he’s disappointed to see it, but allows the urn to stay.

UPDATE @ 9:49 a.m. 

Dr. Mary Goolsby of the coroner’s office is testifying.

UPDATE @ 9:31 a.m. 

A hearing to determine whether whether to charge Gregory as an adult on two murder charges has started.

INITIAL REPORT:

Prosecutors are seeking to charge a teenager, Kylen Jamal Gregory, as an adult on two murder counts for the fatal shooting of 16-year-old Fairmont High School junior Ronnie Bowers near AlterFest.

Two other teens – ages 17 and 15 - charged in the Kettering shooting death of a Fairmont High School junior both pleaded guilty in November to tampering with evidence and agreed to testify against Gregory, 16.

Today’s hearing is a part of a two-day scheduled process to determine if Gregory should be tried as an adult. An Ohio Supreme Court decision in December ruled the automatic transfer of juveniles to adult courts unconstitutional. That decision stemmed from a 2013 robbery case in Montgomery County.

RELATED: Judge uses broad powers to keep teens in custody

In the September fatal shooting, prosecutors and police have called Bowers, who died two days later in the city’s first gun-related homicide since 2007, an “innocent bystander.”

The two teens pleading guilty “did not either know of a gun or expect there to be any gunfire involvement,” county Prosecutor Mat Heck has said.

The 17-year-old pleaded guilty to two counts of felony tampering with evidence, and misdemeanor assault and menacing.

The 15-year-old pleaded guilty to one count each of felony tampering with evidence, and misdemeanor assault and menacing.

RELATED: Homicide victims donated organs

Gregory was singled out by the other two defendants as the one who “fired the gun, striking” Bowers, according to an affidavit by Kettering police for a search warrant filed in juvenile court.

The shooting occurred shortly before 9 p.m. after Bowers and a few friends left AlterFest attempting to flee an ongoing dispute with another group that flared up earlier that night at the festival, police have said.

The second group followed them to the 800 block of Willowdale Avenue near Ackerman Boulevard , blocking a sedan driven by Bowers, police said.

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The juveniles charged in the case left the scene of the shooting, according to court documents.

About 9:30 p.m. Kettering police received complaints at Kantner Park that the 14-year-old defendant was “brandishing a firearm” and that he “had previously brandished a firearm in the presence of his family while at the same park,” court records state.

Police knew the 15-year-old lived near the park and went to the home and received permission from the teen’s mother to search the residence, records show.



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