A 17-year-old accused of murder in the Kettering homicide of a Fairmont High School student will be tried as an adult and be held on a $1 million cash bond, a judge has ruled.
The case against Kylen Jamal Gregory of Kettering involving the Sept. 4, 2016 fatal shooting of Ronnie Bowers will be transferred to adult court, according to a decision by Montgomery County Juvenile Court Judge Anthony Capizzi.
The decision by Capizzi is in line with a May Ohio Supreme Court ruling making mandatory transfers to adult court for charges such as those that Gregory faces.
“Because the transfer of all charges to adult court was mandatory, completion of the amenability hearing is moot, as well as against the interest of judicial economy,” Capizzi wrote in a decision filed Thursday afternoon.
The May 25 decision reversed the high court’s own December ruling that said mandatory transfers were unconstitutional and required a hearing process — one that for Gregory was set to resume earlier this month.
The hearing to decide if Gregory was amenable to juvenile treatment for the charges in Kettering’s first gun-related homicide since 2007 was cancelled, defense attorney Ben Swift said, after Capizzi’s decision became apparent in a meeting with the judge and prosecutors.
In setting bond at $1 million, Capizzi’s ruling also stipulates that “in the event that the bond is posted, the juvenile will submit to electronic home detention.”
Swift said earlier this month the Supreme Court’s May decision will have impact far beyond his client’s case.
“We’re disappointed in the Supreme Court’s decision,” he said. “We believe that Kylen is amenable to juvenile court. Unfortunately, this decision is going to impact any similarly situated juveniles in his position who really never had any criminal involvement.
“It’s going to have serious consequences potentially,” he said. “But we look forward to defending him in this matter and reaching a correct resolution.”
The shooting occurred about 9 p.m. in a neighborhood crowded by AlterFest traffic after separate groups involving Gregory and Bowers left the festival, according to court testimony.
The state’s pursuit of adult charges was stalled in December when the Supreme Court ruled mandatory transfers of juvenile cases were unconstitutional.
Capizzi found probable cause to continue the case against Gregory after two teens testified against him Jan. 30 as a part a sealed plea agreement. The juveniles told the court they were with Gregory Sept. 4 when he fired a shot that officials said struck Bowers in the head as the 16-year-old drove away from the confrontation on Willowdale.
Bowers died Sept. 6 – hours after a court appearance by Gregory and the two other teens - and the coroner’s office ruled his death a homicide.