It’s been nearly a year since the fatal Kettering shooting of a Fairmont High School student, leading to adult murder charges against another Kettering teen.
Kylen Jamal Gregory, 17, faces two counts of murder and related charges stemming from the Sept. 4, 2016 shooting of 16-year-old Ronnie Bowers, who died two days later in what was ruled the city’s first gun-related homicide since 2007.
Witnesses said the shooting of Bowers happened on a busy Willowdale Avenue, a few blocks away from AlterFest, an event both the victim and the defendant had left minutes before in separate groups.
The case has taken a number of twists and turns this last September - and Gregory’s first appearance in adult court came just three weeks ago. Here’s a summary of how the case got here:
-SEPT. 4, 2016: A shooting is reported around 9 p.m. in the 800 block of Willowdale. Police call the victim – later identified as Bowers – an “innocent bystander” shot in the head in what they described as an ongoing “beef” with other teens.
-SEPT. 5: Kettering Police Chief Chip Protsman said detectives would meet the next day with the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office seeking to charge the four male suspects — one 18-year-old, two 16-year-olds and one 14-year-old — with felonious assault and other charges related to the shooting. All four suspects live in Kettering.
-SEPT. 6: Felonious assault charges are among those filed against three males - two 16-year-olds and a 14-year-old – in the Bowers shooting. Later that day, Bowers dies. The 18-year-old, Miles Heizer, is not charged in the Bowers case.
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-OCT. 26: One of the 16-year-olds – Gregory - is charged with two counts of murder in Montgomery County Juvenile Court Judge Anthony Capizzi’s courtroom. County Prosecutor Mat Heck Jr. said he would seek to try Gregory as an adult.
-NOV. 22: The two other teens – now 17 and 15 - charged in the Bowers homicide plead guilty to two counts of felony tampering with evidence and one count each of misdemeanor assault and aggravated menacing. As part of a sealed plea deal, the two agree to testify against Gregory.
-DEC. 22: The Ohio Supreme Court rules the mandatory transfer of juveniles to adult courts unconstitutional stemming from the 2014 conviction of Matthew Aalim. The ruling means Gregory will face a hearing to see if he is amenable to juvenile system.
-JAN. 30, 2017: The 17- and 15-year-olds testify that Gregory fired a single shot at the rear of Bowers’ car as the victim attempted to flee from an altercation on Willowdale Sept. 4. Both witnesses said they approached Bowers’ car seeking a confrontation and both said after the shooting they handled the gun used in the homicide.
-FEB. 1: Capizzi sentences the 17- and 15-year-olds to maximum sentences, possibly both serving in juvenile custody until they are 21. Capizzi said the 17-year-old was in a position to prevent the shooting and the 15-year-old showed no remorse. Yet Capizzi said he found the teens’ testimony credible and schedules amenability hearing for Gregory.
-MAY 24: Two psychologists come to different conclusions about whether or not Gregory should face adult charges. Several others testify – including a Willowdale resident – and Capizzi continues the hearing until July 7.
-MAY 25: The Ohio Supreme Court re-examines the Aalim case at the request of the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office. The court, which had two new members, reverses its December ruling, making the amenability hearing for Gregory moot.
-JUNE 1: Gregory’s attorney, Ben Swift, asks for co-counsel, bringing the high-profile firm of Rion, Rion & Rion L.P.A. Inc. on board as part of the defense team.
-JULY 20: Capizzi grants a prosecution request to try Gregory as an adult. While the teen is ordered to be held on a $1 million bond, he remains in juvenile detention, a standard practice for youths in custody who conduct themselves in an acceptable fashion. The case is then assigned to Judge Dennis Langer.
-AUG. 10: Gregory appears in adult court for the first time, pleading – through defense attorney John Rion – not guilty to all charges. The defense later ask for continuance until October.
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