Internet searches, cell phone videos questioned in death penalty trial

The prosecution continued its case against Michael Grevious II on Tuesday with the lead detective in the retaliation shooting, Hamilton Detective Mel Gray, taking the stand.

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Grevious, 25, of Hamilton, is facing the death penalty if found guilty of aggravated murder for allegedly ordering a retaliation shooting at Central Avenue and Knightsbridge on Aug. 3, 2016 that killed two people. He is also charged with having weapons under disability and felonious assault for gun violence that killed his relative during the early morning hours of July 24, 2016 at a Hamilton bar.

Gray showed the jury a series of photos from the Carriage Inn Motel in Fairfield, as well as Walmart on Princeton Road, and a restaurant and a gun shop in Hamilton in the days leading up to the retaliation shooting that killed Orlando Gilbert and his passenger Todd Berus.

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Melinda Gibby, Tony Patete and Zachary Harris are all seen in the store and parking lot photos. Prosecutors said Grevious hired Harris to kill Orlando Gilbert, who was part of the shootout at Double Bar that witnesses said also involved Grevious.

The trio drove around the area looking for Gilbert while staying at the Carriage Inn, according to prosecutors.

Prosecutors also showed text messages taken from Harris’ phone to a contact by the name of “Skitzo” and “Lil Mike,” both nick names or street names for Grevious.

Defense attorney David Washington pointed out during cross examination that Grevious was not in any of the photos.

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Miami University Police Detectives Walt Schneider, who specializes in forensic examination of electronic devices, testified he did an extraction of a phone prosecutors said was used by Grevious. Among the searches were “What can the police prove if the phone is not in your name, but you use it?”

Grevious, who has been been dressed during the trial in sweaters, loafers and glasses, was depicted by the prosecution very differently in videos found on the phone. Those videos contained a lot of cursing and flashing of money.

During cross examination of Schneider, Washington pointed out there were other videos on the phone that “did not involve bad language and money.”

The prosecution rested Tuesday, and defense attorneys said they will call no witnesses to testify.

That means the jury will hear closing arguments Wednesday morning on day seven of the trial.

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