A Butler County jury decided Friday between a life or death sentence for Hamilton’s Michael Grevious II, who was found guilty of aggravated murder in a 2016 murder for hire.
The sentencing recommendation sparing Grevious his life by recommending life in prison without the possibility of parole came after more that six hours of deliberation.
Judge Greg Stephens sentenced Grevious on the spot taking the jury’s recommendation and giving him life in prison without parole. But the first three years in prison, Grevious will be technically serving the three year gun specification included in the aggravated murder charge.
Before sentencing Grevious told the judge he believed he had been treated unfairly.
“I feel like I was treated unfair because I was charged with felonious assault, that right there, it feels like I got convicted on the other charges,” Grevious told the judge. Grevious was found not guilty of felonious assault and having weapons under disability in connection to the Doubles Bar shooting in July 2016.
Ketonia Gilbert Brown, mother of Orlando Gilbert, who was one of two men killed in the retaliation shooting on Aug. 3, 2016, was emotional as she stood just feet from Grevious and told him what he had done to her family.
“You robbed my son of a life,” she said, noting he has a baby too. “He robbed my youngest son of his innocence … because of some nonsense.”
Then the grieving mother turned to Grevious and and said “why did you put a hit out on my son?”
There was no answer for Grevious.
“Whatever happens in prison, I hope it happens every day … I’m done,” Gilbert Brown said.
Grevious embraced his attorneys before leaving the courtroom. His family yelled, “we love you Mike.”
During closing arguments Friday morning, prosecutors asked the jury not to be swayed by sympathy for Grevious or his relatives, including two sisters, who testified Thursday about their difficult upbringing.
Family members said Grevious has much more to offer and wants to be a father to his young son.
“It is easy to be swayed by sympathy, it is easy to feel sympathy for family members,” said Assistant Prosecutor Brad Burress. “But that does not mitigate this defendant’s actions.”
“The defendant had every choice to live a different life, but he chose to hire people to kill Orlando Gilbert,” said Assistant Prosecutor Josh Muennich.
During that August 2016 drive-by shooting a second man, Todd Berus, was also killed.
Grevious, 25, of Hamilton, was found guilty Wednesday night after eight hours of deliberation of ordering a retaliation shooting at Central Avenue and Knightsbridge.
Defense attorney David Washington asked the jury to consider life in prison with parole eligibility for Grevious.
“Do not allow anger or revenge to push you to impose the death penalty,” Washington said, noting it only takes one juror to spare Grevious’ life.
“I know there is good in him. That he can provide some guidance in his baby’s life,” Washington said.
Here are the four sentencing options the jury was allowed to consider:
- Life in prison with parole eligibility after 25 years
- Life in prison with parole eligibility after 30 years
- Life in prison without the possibility of parole
Yesterday, Grevious took the stand to ask the jury to spare his life.
“I want to one day be a better father to my child,” Grevious told the jury. “I have got much more to offer … I made a mistake, I am not perfect … I ask you to spare my life.”