Man found guilty of aggravated murder in the 2019 shooting death of a Middletown man

Cameron Kyles Tuesday, Aug. 24, during his murder trial in Butler County Common Pleas Court. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
Caption
Cameron Kyles Tuesday, Aug. 24, during his murder trial in Butler County Common Pleas Court. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Kyles faces life in prison when sentence is handed down in October.

A Middletown man has been found guilty of aggravated murder and other felonies for the 2019 shooting death of a man at his Ninth Avenue residence.

Cameron Kyles, now 20, was charged with aggravated murder, aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, felonious assault and having weapons under disability for the Oct. 12, 2019, death of Michael Stewart II. He was found guilty on all counts.

He is one of three charged with the slaying prosecutors say was a gang plot. The co-defendants took plea deals.

Kyles’ trial began Monday in Butler County Common Pleas Court after several delays related to changes in defense attorneys and COVID pandemic issues. The jury deliberated about six hours before reaching a verdict Friday in Judge Dan Haughey’s courtroom.

Haughey set sentencing for Oct. 19. Kyles faces life in prison.

Kyles went to a Middletown house on the night of Oct. 12, 2019, and robbed and killed Stewart as part of a plot that had been talked about for weeks, prosecutors said.

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But the defense argued Kyleswas a “patsy” to take the fall for those who actually conspired to rob Stewart.

Assistant Prosecutor Jackie Welp told the jury during opening statements that 35-year-old Stewart was a “Blood” gang member and Kyles and the co-defendants were “Crips” who planned to “hit a lick” or rob Stewart of cash and marijuana.

Camron Pawlowski, a 16-year-old boy and another teen hung out at Pawlowski’s residence on Bavarian Woods on Oct. 12 smoking marijuana and talking about the robbery, Welp said. After picking up Kyles, they drove to Stewart’s house, parked in the alley, and sent in the youngest of the four to make a buy and see if anyone else was in the house.

Then Kyles went into the house with a gun, shots were fired and Kyles ran out as Stewart lay dying, grabbing money and a baggie of marijuana. They went back to the Bavarian Street residence where Kyles took a shower and put his clothes in the washing machine. The gun, which Middletown police found, was ditched in the woods near the residence wrapped in a white shirt, according to prosecutors.

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The teens divided up the money from the robbery and blood-stained dollar bills were found in Kyles’ possession.

“We know this defendant’s whereabouts on Oct. 12 to Oct. 13 because he was wearing a GPS monitor from a previous charge of participating in a criminal gang,” Welp said. She added Kyles wanted to “earn his stripes” with the gang by committing the robbery.

Defense attorney Rodney Harris told the jury during openings, “Throughout Cameron’s life he has had a number of mental health limitations and challenges. He has been manipulated and mistreated. He was popular when they wanted a patsy.”

A memorial a the Ninth Avenue residence of Michael Stewart II who was shot and killed Oct. 12. Three teens are charged with his homicide. LAUREN PACK/STAFF
Caption
A memorial a the Ninth Avenue residence of Michael Stewart II who was shot and killed Oct. 12. Three teens are charged with his homicide. LAUREN PACK/STAFF

Kyles was not trusted because he could not keep a secret and was not part of the planning to rob Stewart, Harris said.

“He was the dumb patsy that they could lay the case right in his lap,” Harris said, adding what better person to take the fall than someone wearing a GPS monitor.

A juvenile boy pled guilty to murder and has been sentenced to the Ohio Department of Youth Services until his 21st birthday.

Pawlowski, 17, who was tried as an adult, was sentenced to prison for 15 years. He pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, aggravated burglary and having weapons under disability with gang and gun specifications. A fourth person in the car was not charged.

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