Court 'abused’ discretion, Kettering man claims with appeal in fatal shooting of Fairmont teen

Kylen Gregory, seen here flanked by his attorneys at sentencing, was convicted of reckless homicide in the 2016 holiday weekend fatal shooting of Fairmont High School student Ronnie Bowers near AlterFest. NICK BLIZZARD/STAFF
Caption
Kylen Gregory, seen here flanked by his attorneys at sentencing, was convicted of reckless homicide in the 2016 holiday weekend fatal shooting of Fairmont High School student Ronnie Bowers near AlterFest. NICK BLIZZARD/STAFF

Credit: NICK BLIZZARD/STAFF

Credit: NICK BLIZZARD/STAFF

DAYTON – An appeal is set to be heard in the case of a Kettering man convicted in the shooting death of a Fairmont High School student in 2016, when both were 16.

The attorney for Kylen Gregory, now 20, said the Montgomery County Juvenile Court abused its discretion when it ruled the defendant was not amendable for rehabilitation in that system for the death of Ronnie Bowers, court records say.

Caption
Ronnie Bowers

Credit: FILE

Ronnie Bowers
Caption
Ronnie Bowers

Credit: FILE

Credit: FILE

Prosecutors, however, said juvenile court Judge Anthony Capizzi’s ruling was “based upon the totality of the evidence presented and after careful consideration of all factors,” according to documents.

A three-judge panel in the 2nd District Court of Appeals in Dayton is scheduled to hear oral arguments remotely Sept. 22, the court docket states.

Caption
Kylen Gregory.

Credit: FILE

Kylen Gregory.
Caption
Kylen Gregory.

Credit: FILE

Credit: FILE

Gregory’s case was transferred from juvenile court to adult court, where he was indicted on murder and related charges for the Sept. 4, 2016, shooting of Bowers, who died two days later.

ExploreEARLIER: Judge rules on fate of Kettering teen convicted in 2016 fatal shooting of Fairmont student

Gregory testified he did not know Bowers, whom authorities called “an innocent bystander.” Neither of the two were initially involved in the dispute that started at AlterFest and ended on Willowdale Avenue, according to court witnesses.

Gregory was sentenced to 11 years in prison, minus time served after being found guilty by a Montgomery County Common Pleas Court jury on lesser charges after admitting to firing the shot authorities said killed Bowers. Gregory later pleaded guilty to additional lesser offenses in the case.

Because he was not convicted of murder, the case went back to juvenile court to assess whether the defendant was candidate for rehabilitation in that system.

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The juvenile court ruled last year that he was not. Had the case stayed in the juvenile system, Gregory would have been freed on this 21st birthday, court officials said.

The “juvenile court’s misapplication of guideline factors has led to an unreliable assessment” of Gregory’s amenability “to rehabilitation in the juvenile system,” defense attorney Ben Swift wrote in an appeals court filing.

The juvenile court’s “decision-making was arbitrary in the sense that the court ignored many favorable aspects” of defendant’s rehab progress “while highlighting other that were less significant. Thus, the court abused its discretion in this matter.”

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Yet, prosecutors stated in appeals court filings that the juvenile court’s decision was “based upon the totality of the evidence presented and after careful consideration of all factors.”

“The juvenile court properly found” the case should stay in adult court, noting the “is not an abuse of discretion and must stand,” court records show.

The case is being heard by judges Mary Donovan, Jeffrey Froelich and Jeffrey Welbaum, according to court records.

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