Kylen Gregory enters pleas to lesser charges in Ronnie Bowers case

A Kettering teenager Tuesday said he was guilty five times in a move his attorney said may save him 12 years in prison.

Kylen Gregory, 19, pleaded guilty to five lesser felonious assault charges for which he would have been retried next month in the 2016 shooting death of Kettering Fairmont High School student Ronnie Bowers.

A jury in November found Gregory guilty of two counts of reckless homicide and one count of discharging a firearm.

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It did not find him guilty of murder – a charge that sent the case from juvenile to adult court – and was deadlocked on five first-degree felonious assault charges in what was Kettering’s first gun-related homicide since 2007.

Gregory’s decision Tuesday to plead to second-degree felonious assault charges may mean less prison time in his sentencing June 13. That’s when Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge Dennis Langer will render a punishment on all of his convictions.

The sentence – which Langer said could range from six to 44 years in prison – will then by stayed while the case returns to juvenile court.


“It moves the case where it needs to go ... to juvenile court,” defense attorney Jon Paul Rion said.

“I think what we have here is an incredible tragedy,” Rion added. “At the same time we have a good kid – if you will – that committed a bad tragedy. And how those contrasting concepts play out in juvenile court will be for the juvenile court to consider. But that’s really the biggest question in this case.”

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Gregory has been in juvenile detention since hours after the Sept. 4, 2016, shooting. He has been held on a $1 million bond.

Juvenile court may decide to keep Gregory in custody until he is 21 or return the case to adult court, Langer said.

Gregory’s retrial was set for May 13. Assistant Prosecutor Lynda Dodd declined to comment on the state accepting the pleas, but noted the defendant did “take responsibility” for his actions.

Bowers’ parents were in court Tuesday, but left without comment.

The jury’s November verdict upset the family, with his mother, Jessica Combs, saying later: “Ronnie paid the ultimate price by losing his life.

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“Myself – along with my family and friends – are the ones serving a life sentence,” she said.

Gregory testified in November that he fired a shot a Bowers’ car as the victim and three others sought to flee a dispute on Willowdale Avenue the night of Sept. 4, 2016.

The shot, which Gregory said he fired to send “a signal,” wounded Bowers in the head and later caused his death.

Gregory and Bowers were both 16 at the time of the shooting, and the case was moved to adult court in 2017.

That year, Gregory was indicted on — and pleaded not guilty to — two counts of murder, five counts of felonious assault and the firearms charge.

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