Seventeen-year-old Kylen Jamal Gregory faces murder charges in the Kettering shooting death of Fairmont High School junior Ronnie Bowers last Labor Day weekend.
Depending on a judge’s decision, the Kettering defendant could face those charges in adult court. Since late October, prosecutors have sought adult charges in connection with the Sept. 4 shooting on Willowdale Avenue that – two days later when Bowers died – became Kettering’s first gun-related homicide since 2007.
The case has revolved around Bowers and Gregory, who by all accounts were strangers. But for more than eight months, several other people have had an impact. They include:
-Two teen witnesses. Kettering residents ages 16 and 14 at the time of the shooting, both males testified under a sealed plea agreement. Both said they were with Gregory when a dispute occurred at AlterFest earlier that night between their group of five and Bowers’ friends.
Both said their group tracked Bowers – who neither knew - and his friends to Willowdale. Both said they saw Gregory fire a shot toward Bowers’ Lexus as the victim sought to drive away. They were sentenced to the maximum punishment and may stay in custody until turning 21.
-Judge Anthony Capizzi. Has used a broad authority to keep all defendants in custody since hours after the shooting. He has repeatedly pointed out a desire to protect the community and to protect the defendants from the community.
-Benjamin Swift. Gregory’s counsel after the shooting, Swift sought a second psychological evaluation for his client. He also politely objected to the courtroom presence of something few – if any – court observers have ever seen: an urn holding the victim’s remains.
-Lynda Dodd. The lead prosecutor entered the case when it became apparent the county would seek to have Gregory’s case transferred to adult court. She has been the chief prosecutorial presence for most of the way.
-Jessica Combs. The mother of the victim said shortly after her son’s death in September that she would seek to see that “justice is served.” Combs - along with several relatives and friends - has been a steady courtroom presence.