Trial scheduled to begin today for man charged with 2016 shooting death in Hamilton: What to know

Mychel King, right, and his attorney Lawrence Hawkins III were in Butler County Common Pleas Court Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021 for a hearing in front of Judge Keith Spaeth. King is charged with aggravated murder in the 2016 shooting death of Jaylon Knight. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
Caption
Mychel King, right, and his attorney Lawrence Hawkins III were in Butler County Common Pleas Court Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021 for a hearing in front of Judge Keith Spaeth. King is charged with aggravated murder in the 2016 shooting death of Jaylon Knight. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

The trial of a Hamilton man accused in the shooting death of a Fairfield High School senior in 2016 is scheduled to begin this morning in Butler County Common Pleas Court

Mychel King, 24, was arrested Dec. 8 after he was indicted for the death of Jaylon Knight, who was found dead on March 11, 2016, in a car on Charles Street.

Jaylon Knight
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Jaylon Knight

King is charged with murder, aggravated murder, four counts of aggravated robbery, two counts of felonious assault and one count of probation violation.

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Knight, 18, died in a car in the 300 block of Charles Street. The vehicle was in front of a house, just short of striking the structure. Knight was slumped over the steering wheel with a large amount of blood inside the vehicle, police said at the time of his death.

Defense attorney Lawrence Hawkins III has filed a notice of alibi in the case that states, “King claims that he was at home, 513 South Front Street, Hamilton, Ohio, on March 11, 2016 during the time of the shooting that occurred killing Jaylon Knight.”

King has been held in the Butler County Jail in lieu of $650,000 bond since his arrest.

Hawkins III filed motions to suppress DNA evidence and statements to Hamilton police at trial, but after hearings, the motions were denied by Judge Keith Spaeth. A shoe obtained from King’s porch by police, all DNA and King’s interrogation tapes from March 13, 2020 and Sept. 15, 2020 will permitted for use.

Hamilton Detective Frank Botts testified in a June hearing that he and another detective observed the shoe in plain sight on the porch of the residence when they went to question King. The white Nike shoe was on its side. Botts said he could see a sole pattern similar to prints left at the shooting scene.

The detective picked up the shoe, photographed it and put it back on the porch, and they went to get a search warrant.

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Hawkins filed a motion to withdraw as King’s attorney because of a conflict. He had represented a prosecution witness previously during a preliminary hearing in a lower court. During a hearing Thursday, the witness and King both signed a waiver that they had no problem with Hawkins remaining on the case. The judge then denied Hawkins’ motion.

Spaeth ordered 50 potential jurors for jury selection that is scheduled to begin this morning.

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