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Trial dates set for capital murder cases in Hamilton shootings

Four people charged with capital murder in a Hamilton drive-by shooting that killed two people on Central Avenue this summer were back in a Butler County courtroom today.

In connection with the August shooting that killed Orlando Gilbert and Todd Berus, the four people charged are:

Zachary Harris, 24, of Columbus, two counts of aggravated murder;

Tony Patete, 23, of Newark, two counts of aggravated murder;

Melinda Gibby, 35, of Lancaster, two counts of aggravated murder, and

Michael Grevious II, 23, of Maple Ave., Hamilton, one count of aggravated murder.

After the July 24 shooting at Doubles Bar on Main Street, Grevious II recruited Harris to kill Orlando Gilbert for $5,000, according to court documents. Gilbert was wounded at the bar shooting that left Kalif Goens dead.

Harris appeared first today before Judge Greg Stephens, who set a trial date for Oct. 23. It is expected to last two weeks.

Gibby’s trial date was set for Aug. 22, and Patete is scheduled to go to trial on July 24. Grevious was the last of the four to appear before the judge. His trial was set for Sept. 25. All three trials are expected to last two weeks.

Harris and ex-convicts Patete and Gibby drove about 90 miles from Fairfield County, Ohio, to Butler County and spent several days driving around Hamilton in search of their target, investigators alleged.

Then on Aug. 3, a Chevrolet pickup truck driven by Gibby pulled up next to a black Ford Mustang occupied by Gilbert and Berus.

Patete, the front seat passenger of the truck, opened fire with an AK-47 multiple times, killing Gilbert and Berus, according to court documents.

Prosecutors claim that Harris orchestrated the drive-by shooting from the back seat of the pickup truck.

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