A 17-year-old — long accused of murder in the Kettering shooting death of a Fairmont High School student last September — this week was indicted as an adult and pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Kylen Gregory of Kettering faces two murder counts and six related charges in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court for the Sept. 4 Willowdale Avenue shooting Ronnie Bowers. The 16-year-old Bowers was fleeing a dispute that started at AlterFest.
Bowers died two days later in Kettering’s first gun-related homicide since 2007.
Eleven months later, here are four key issues to know about the case:
1-Expect a vigorous defense. The high-profile law firm of Rion, Rion & Rion in June joined Benjamin Swift, Gregory’s attorney since his first appearance in juvenile court Sept. 6.
John P. Rion and his son, Jon Paul Rion, indicated this week the defense team will examine all options, pointing to other possible shooters and perhaps seeking to return the case to juvenile court among them. Court records show the team is seeking a variety of documents and videos relating to the case.
2-Gregory may stay in custody for the duration of the case. Gregory has been in custody since hours after the shooting of Bowers and – after the case was transferred to adult court – is being detained in lieu of a $1 million cash bond. While in custody, he will remain in juvenile detention unless the court deems Gregory a threat himself or others, court officials have said.
3-More is known about the prosecutor’s case. Prosecutors have been guarded about their comments outside the courtroom. But juvenile court testimony and court records may indicate how their case will move forward.
Two juveniles who said they were with Gregory on Sept. 4 have testified in juvenile court the defendant fired a gun at Bowers’ car as the victim sought to drive away on Willowdale.
Police and the coroner’s office said Bowers — called an innocent victim by investigators — suffered a gunshot wound to head and died of the bullet wound. At least one resident of Willowdale also testified in juvenile court. Records show other potential witnesses, including those said to be passengers in Bowers’ car.
4-Juvenile Judge Anthony Capizzi’s work has been lauded. Capizzi oversaw the case for more than 10 months. During that time the Ohio Supreme Court handed down two rulings – one in December and another in May – on juvenile transfers to adult court. Both state court rulings changed the direction of Gregory’s case.
Capizzi told this news organization early on that he planned to handle this case as if it would stay in juvenile court for its duration. At the same time, he told the defense that if the prosecution met their burden, under state law a mandatory transfer would make his opinion moot.
During several months, neither prosecutors nor the defense raised any serious issues in court with how Capizzi handled the case. Outside the courtroom, both Swift and John P. Rion commended his rulings.
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