The trial for two men charged with a 2012 murder in Harlem Township has been postponed to March.
Prosecutors allege that on Nov. 9, 2012, Reginald Timothy Conley, 27, of Lucasville, Ohio, and Jermaine Darnell Kelly, 31, of Columbus, drove a third man, Dontee Gervins, 29, of Columbus, to Harlem Township and shot him in the abdomen. Gervins made it to a nearby home near Red Bank Road and asked residents for help.
He was transferred to Riverside Methodist Hospital, where he died nine days later, prosecutors said.
First Assistant County Prosecutor Kyle Rohrer said at the arraignments that Conley and Kelly are members of the Crips gang based in Columbus, and that Gervins was a witness in an ongoing robbery-homicide investigation involving other members of Conley and Kelly’s gang.
Rohrer said that after Gervins was shot, Kelly made a phone call to one of the suspects in the robbery-homicide case and made incriminating statements regarding Gervins.
Conley and Kelly were scheduled to begin trial on Oct. 18 to face murder and intimidation of a witness charges, but the trial was delayed to Jan. 9.
However, in late December, Conley and Kelly’s attorney filed motions to delay the trial to give them time to hire a cell phone analyst and continue to go through the large amount of evidence in the case before trial including hours of audio and video as well as many gigabytes of cell phone data.
Delaware County Common Pleas Court Judge Everett Krueger granted the motion on and scheduled a new trial for March 6 at 8:30 a.m.
Conley and Kelly were indicted by a Delaware County grand jury on July 22 and were in the Delaware County Jail on Wednesday, Jan. 4.
Conley is charged with two counts of murder; one charge of intimidation of witness in a criminal case, a third-degree felony; and one charge of having weapons while under disability, also a third-degree felony.
Kelly is charged with two counts of murder; one charge of intimidation of witness in a criminal case, a third-degree felony; and two counts of having weapons while under disability, also third-degree felonies.
Both murder charges carry firearm specifications and gang specifications, both of which could add years to any potential prison term. Krueger told the defendants that the murder charges carry between 15 years and life in prison.
Rohrer explained after the hearing that the law allows murder to be charged two different ways — first, as causing someone’s death; and secondly, as causing someone’s death while committing another felony. In this case, Rohrer said the murder was committed while Conley and Kelly were also intimidating a witness, Gervins.
Rohrer said Conley is in prison on an unrelated burglary conviction and is projected to be released in March 2017.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.
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