The teenager on trial for murder in the 2016 death of a Fairmont High School student told jurors Thursday that he was aiming at the trunk of a car when he fired the shot that killed Ronnie Bowers.
Kylen Gregory testified in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court. He took the stand for 75 minutes on the trial’s fourth day, after which his defense rested its case. Closing arguments are expected Friday.
Gregory has pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder, five counts of felonious assault and one count of discharging a firearm at or near a prohibited premise stemming from the incident of Sept. 4, 2016, that happened near that weekend’s AlterFest event.
He said that he feels “terrible” about the shooting and testified he never shot a gun before.
“It’s just a quick shot … aiming at the trunk of the car,” he said.
He then gave the gun to a friend with him, he said.
“I just fired a weapon. I didn’t want to get caught with it,” Gregory said.
The night before the shooting, Gregory said he stole the gun used in the shooting from a relative. He said he planned to sell the gun to a friend and took it to AlterFest that Labor Day weekend.
Under cross examination, Gregory acknowledged that he wanted to make “a statement” by shooting at Bowers’ car. Assistant Prosecutor Lynda Dodd asked Gregory, “You knew you were the only one who could take a fight to the next level, right?”
“Yes,” Gregory said.
Gregory spoke softly on the stand, saying he didn’t think he had shot anyone when he fired the gun.
He said he didn’t find out that anyone was wounded from the shooting until he returned to AlterFest after 9:30 p.m.
“I didn’t know what to do,” Gregory said.
An investigator with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation told the jury earlier Thursday that he inspected Bowers’ car after the shooting. Special Agent Tyler Price said he found no evidence of a ricocheting bullet, which defense attorneys suggested earlier.
But Price said there was the possibility that the bullet’s trajectory had changed as it shattered the car’s rear window and skimmed the ceiling.
Gregory has been in juvenile detention since the shooting and is being held on a $1 million bond. Three people who were said to be with Gregory at the shooting have pleaded guilty to lesser charges.
Two of them were juveniles at the time of the shooting. The third – Miles Heizer, 20 – is in prison on an unrelated conviction.
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