Hamilton murder-for-hire death penalty trial delayed

1:55 p.m Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017 Local News
Michael Grevious II, 24, of Maple Avenue is one of four who was facing the death penalty if convicted in the murder-for-hire shooting that happened after a fatal shootout at the former Doubles Bar on Hamilton’s west side. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

The death penalty trial of a Hamilton man charged with a 2016 drive-by shooting that killed two men was scheduled to begin Monday, but has been continued until next year.

Michael Grevious II, 24, of Maple Avenue is one of four who was facing the death penalty if convicted in the murder-for-hire shooting that happened after a fatal shootout at the former Doubles Bar on the city’s west side.

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Last week, Grevious’ attorney David Washington requested a continuance of the trial because an expert has not completed work in the case. Butler County County Common Pleas Judge Greg Stephens grant the continuance.

The three-week trial has been rescheduled for Feb. 26.

July marked the one-year anniversary of the shootout at Doubles Bar that killed one person and wounded seven others. The shooting sparked retaliation violence on the afternoon of Aug. 3, 2016, that killed two people.

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According to prosecutors, Grevious, one of the men involved in the Doubles shootout, hired Zachary Harris to kill Orlando Gilbert for $5,000.

Then on that afternoon in August 2016, a Chevrolet pickup truck driven by Melinda Gibby pulled up next to a black Ford Mustang occupied by Gilbert and Todd Berus. Tony Patete, the front seat passenger of the truck, opened fire with an AK-47 multiple times, killing Gilbert and Berus, according to court documents.

Grevious is charged with aggravated murder and felonious assault for the Doubles shootout.

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Last month Gibby, 35, of Lancaster, pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated murder. The defense and prosecutors agreed to a sentence of 30 years to life for Gibby, but her sentencing is not scheduled until February 2018. She avoided the possibility of a death sentence if convicted in a jury trial.

Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser said Gibby will not be sentenced until after her cooperation in the trials of the three others.

Harris, 24, of Columbus, is charged with two counts of aggravated murder, and is scheduled for trial Oct. 23.

Patete, 23, of Newark, is charged with two counts of aggravated murder. He is scheduled to stand trial on Dec. 4.

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