Kettering teen homicide trial may have 100-plus witnesses

More than 100 witnesses may testify next month in the murder trial of a Kettering teen charged as an adult in 2016 Labor Day weekend deadly shooting of a Fairmont High School student.

The prosecution’s list of possible witnesses against Kylen Gregory in the shooting death of Ronnie Bowers includes 124 individuals, more than 60 of whom have been subpoenaed, court records show.

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The state’s witness list was filed Thursday, the same day Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge Dennis Langer said the trial of Gregory – who turned 18 in March - on two counts of murder and related charges is set to move forward May 7.

Much of the evidence collected against Gregory through search warrants after the shooting will be allowed at trial, Langer has ruled.

Defense attorney Jon Paul Rion sought to suppress photo identifications, phone records and other evidence taken in the hours after the Sept. 4, 2016, shooting of the 16-year-old Bowers, court documents show. He was wounded just before 9 p.m. on Willowdale Avenue and died Sept. 6 in what was ruled Kettering’s first gun-related homicide since 2007.

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Rion told this news organization “we’re fully comfortable the court made a good decision in that case. And the evidence that’s coming into trial is evidence the jury should hear so they can make a good decision – a full decision on the facts.”

Langer’s March 26 ruling will allow evidence gathered from warrants for the defendant’s DNA, his phone, his home at the time and an unspecified “Apple” phone, according to court records

But the decision said a warrant for telephone records of two of Gregory’s relatives “failed to provide probable cause” for that evidence to be used in the case.

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Gregory was not in court for Thursday’s two-minute hearing that Langer said followed a more than hour-long conference with defense and prosecution attorneys.

Rion said afterward that “our case is fully-prepared. We’re ready to go forward” and his client’s absence wasn’t an issue.

“It wasn’t an essential proceeding,” he said. “So there was no reason to bring him in the courtroom.”

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Rion said he and attorney Benjamin Swift plan to file a witness list by the end of the month.

Those who may testify against Gregory include 20 minors, at least five of whom were said to be at the scene of the shooting, court records show. Two of those teens listed in Thursday’s filings agreed in 2016 to plea deals with prosecutors and testified in juvenile court that they were with Gregory at the shooting scene.

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Bowers was shot as he sought to flee from Willowdale to avoid a confrontation that authorities and witnesses have said began at AlterFest a short time before.

Gregory and Bowers were with separate groups at the annual Labor Day festival, did not know each other and left in separate vehicles, witnesses testified in court earlier.

Gregory’s group tracked Bowers’ car to the Willowdale area about four blocks away, where issues between the teen groups continued, authorities said. Bowers began driving away and the defendant fired at the car, wounding the victim in the head, according to earlier testimony.

Bowers died two days later from a bullet wound to the head, according to the coroner’s office.


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