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Pawlowski now faces charges of murder, aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, felonious assault and having weapons under disability. The charges also carry a specification of participating in a criminal gang at the time of the alleged offenses.
He is one of three people charged in the shooting death of Michael Stewart II, who was killed in his Ninth Avenue home.
During the probable cause hearing earlier this month, Middletown detectives said Stewart, 35, was known to deal marijuana and was a member of the “All State” gang.
“We have two major gangs in Middletown that have been fighting for several years,” Detective Steve Winters said.
He added he has investigated several homicides tied to the gang violence. The rival Middletown gang is the Road Runners. Middletown detective Kristi Hughes testified about Pawlowski’s alleged involvement in that gang.
The juvenile judge set bond at $500,000 and ordered that he be transferred to the Butler County Jail from the juvenile detention center. He remains housed in the county jail.
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Cameron Kyles, 18, who police say is the shooter, is awaiting trial after being indicted for aggravated murder, aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, felonious assault and having weapons under disability.
A 15-year-old boy is the third co-defendant in the incident. He is scheduled to be in juvenile court next month for a probable cause hearing. Prosecutors have also requested his case be sent to adult court.
Winters testified that through interviews police determined Pawlowski and Kyles had been in juvenile detention together and were planning robbery incident.
“They talked about hitting a lick (a slang term for robbery),” Winters said.
Pawlowski drove to Stewart’s residence and parked in the alley and the 15-year-old went inside to make sure Stewart’s friends were not with him, Winters said.
Then Kyles was given a gun by Pawlowski and went into the house, and four shots were fired. Surveillance video in the house captured the shooter wearing distinctive clothing and walking toward Stewart with a gun, then taking items from Stewart’s body and the house, Winters said.
Pawlowski shook his head several times during the hearing, especially when the gang involvement was mentioned.
Winters said a search of Pawlowski’s Middletown residence turned up a bag of marijuana, ammunition for a 9mm gun, clothing that the shooter was wearing in the video and counterfeit money, including some spotted with what police believe is blood.
About 20 feet from the Pawlowski residence, police found what they believe to be the murder weapon wrapped in a shirt and covered with brush, Winters said.
Pawlowski’s attorney, Jeremy Evans, said that police had no evidence other than statements from co-defendants that he planned the murder or robbery. Evans said there are some statements that indicate Pawlowski drove the youngest teen to the house to purchase marijuana from Stewart.