The murder trial of Kylen Gregory started Monday in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court.
The Kettering man is accused of the Sept. 4, 2016 fatal shooting of Ronnie Bowers, a Fairmont High School student who died two days later.
The case has revolved around Bowers and Gregory, who by all accounts were strangers. But for the past 26 months, several other people have had an impact on the case.
•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 in juvenile court to the maximum punishment.
•Miles Heizer. Heizer, 20, is serving time in prison after being convicted on an unrelated charge. He has been subpoenaed by prosecutors after pleading guilty in May to a tampering charge, becoming the third defendant to admit to a crime in connection with Bowers’ shooting.
The two teen witnesses said they were with Gregory in a car driven by Heizer on Willowdale the night Bowers was shot. His plea and testimony may bolster the prosecution’s case.
• Juvenile Court Judge Anthony Capizzi. Has used a broad authority to keep all defendants in custody since hours after the shooting. He repeatedly pointed out a desire to protect the community and to protect the defendants from the community. He transferred the case to adult court in July 2017.
• Common Pleas Judge Dennis Langer. Gregory first appeared before Langer in August 2017, pleading not guilty two counts of murder, five counts of felonious assault and one count of discharging a firearm at or near a prohibited premise.
Langer has made rulings on what evidence will be admissible and on what access the media has in reporting this case. After setting the case for trial May 7, this past spring Langer granted a defense motion – which citing unforeseen circumstances - to delay it until Nov. 5.
• Jon Paul Rion. The second-generation face of Rion, Rion & Rion joined Gregory’s defense team in June 2017. The Rion firm is one of the most high-profile criminal defense firms in the Dayton area with deep experience in murder cases.
• Benjamin Swift. Gregory’s counsel since shortly after the shooting, Swift sought a second psychological evaluation for his client when the case was in juvenile court.
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 2016 that she would seek to see that “justice is served.” Combs - along with several relatives and friends - has been a steady courtroom presence.
-MORE COVERAGE ON THIS ISSUE:
RELATED: Match found for Ronnie Bowers organs