NEW DETAILS: Kettering teen’s fate in 2016 shooting death focus of court filings

Kylen Gregory, 19, of Kettering, will either spend time in prison or be free on his 21st birthday after admitting to his role in the fatal shooting of 16-year-old Ronnie Bowers in 2016. FILE
Kylen Gregory, 19, of Kettering, will either spend time in prison or be free on his 21st birthday after admitting to his role in the fatal shooting of 16-year-old Ronnie Bowers in 2016. FILE

The prosecution and defense have filed what are expected to be among the last arguments made before a ruling about the future of a Kettering teen who admitted to his role in a fatal shooting in 2016.

The state wants Kylen Gregory, 19, to serve time in the adult court system, where he has been convicted and sentenced to multiple years in prison for the killing of Fairmont High School student Ronnie Bowers.

The defense is seeking to keep their client – who, like Bowers, was 16 at the time of the shooting – in the juvenile system, where he would be released in March 2021.

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Gregory has been in juvenile custody since September 2016, and prosecutors say the “defendant has demonstrated….that he is not cooperative or motivated for treatment,” court records show.

There “is no credible evidence submitted” to find that Gregory would be amenable to treatment in the juvenile system and he remains a threat to the community, according to prosecutors.

Given his age and conduct, there is not enough time for Gregory’s rehabilitation in juvenile system, court documents state.

The “transfer to adult court is necessary for the safety of the community. Defendant is arrogant, entitled, and manipulative, and he believes the rules do not apply to him,” according to prosecutors.

“Based on his conduct while under intense supervision, there is no reason to believe that once he is released in society that he will suddenly be compelled to live by the rules and laws of society,” court records show. “He has already demonstrated a capacity for violent, deadly crime. That he shows no remorse or empathy for his crimes only increases his danger upon release.”

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Defense attorneys, meanwhile, say Gregory “made a tragic mistake in judgment,” but added there is sufficient evidence to find he is amenable to treatment and rehabilitation within the juvenile system.

Keeping Gregory in the juvenile system “best aligns the goals and purposes” of that system “and it is his best chance for rehabilitation and successful re-entry into society,” according to defense’s filing.

“He never intended to kill anyone, and has taken responsibility for his actions and expressed genuine remorse from the time of the incident,” defense attorney Jon Paul Rion stated. “At trial, Kylen admitted to firing the fatal shot and expressed how terrible he felt when he realized what happened.

“He also stated that he prays for the family and hopes for their forgiveness,” the filing states. “If Kylen is transferred to an adult facility, he will lose many of the services that are available in the juvenile system, and he will have less of a chance for successful re-entry into the community.”

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The filings follow a hearing earlier this month about which jurisdiction the case should go to. Montgomery County Juvenile Court Judge Anthony Capizzi is expected to rule on Gregory’s case soon.

At his trial last November, Gregory testified he – without provocation from Bowers - aimed a loaded gun and fired at the victim’s car on Willowdale Avenue in Kettering as Bowers sought to flee a Sept. 4, 2016, confrontation.

Authorities said the shot hit Bowers, sitting in the driver’s seat, in the head, and two days later he died from the wound in what was ruled a homicide.

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In adult court, Gregory was indicted on two counts of murder, five counts of felonious assault and other charges. The jury found him guilty of reckless homicide and a gun-related charge, but was deadlocked on the felonious assault counts.

Facing a retrial on the felonious assault charges, Gregory this spring pleaded guilty in a deal that came with a lighter sentence than he would have faced if convicted by a jury.

In adult court, Judge Dennis Langer sentenced him to 11 years in prison minus time already served.

Because Gregory was not convicted of murder, the case was returned to juvenile court.

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