Shooter's friend who bought body armor to remain in jail

Posted at 8:32 AM, Aug 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-15 09:45:54-04

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — A longtime friend of the Dayton shooter who authorities say bought him body armor and helped assemble the weapon used in the massacre will remain in jail on a charge unrelated to the shooting.

Authorities said there's no indication Ethan Kollie knew his friend was planning a mass shooting, but they did accuse him of lying on a federal firearms form while buying a pistol not used in the shooting.

A U.S. magistrate judge on Wednesday continued a detention hearing for Kollie until Thursday after all sides could not agree on conditions for his release.

The decision came after a federal prosecutor had agreed to a recommendation for house arrest with electronic monitoring and a number of other conditions, but the magistrate balked.

"The allegations in the criminal complaint are very, very serious," said Magistrate Judge Michael J. Newman, who also voiced concerns about drug use and a possible mental health issue he wouldn't elaborate on.

Defense attorney Nick Gounaris said the charges Kollie was arrested on "involved a firearm not used in any violent offenses."

Prosecutors said Kollie, of Kettering, first spoke with investigators just hours after Connor Betts opened fire in a popular entertainment district, killing his sister and eight others Aug. 4.

It's not known whether Betts targeted his sister , Megan, in the shooting that left 17 wounded by gunfire.

Their parents will be hold private memorial services, according to obituaries posted by a funeral home in their hometown of Bellbrook.

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Kollie told investigators he helped Betts assemble the AR-15-style weapon about 10 weeks ago, federal agents said in a court document.

He also told them he bought the body armor , a 100-round magazine and a key part of the gun used in the attack and kept them at his apartment so Betts' parents would not find it, according to the court filing.

Prosecutors charged Kollie with lying about not using marijuana on federal firearms forms in the purchase of a pistol that federal agents found in his apartment.

Possessing a firearm as an unlawful user of a controlled substance is a federal crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Making a false statement regarding firearms carries a potential maximum sentence of up to five years' imprisonment.

Federal authorities had filed a motion to keep him held without bond, saying he was a flight risk and a risk to the community.

FBI agents who obtained a warrant to search the apartment said they found two pistols, what appeared to be psychedelic mushrooms and a device used for smoking marijuana. An FBI affidavit states Kollie said he has smoked marijuana daily since age 14.

Kollie fully cooperated with authorities before his arrest and was shocked that his friend carried out the shooting, his attorney said.

"We certainly understand that there was a huge tragedy, terrible tragedy, in the Miami Valley," Gounaris told reporters Wednesday, but he said Kallie didn't take part in it.

One of the first victims shot by Betts was his younger sister, Dayton police said Tuesday.

Text messages show the gunman knew his sister and their friend were going to a taco stand minutes before he started shooting, but whether he knew she was there and could see her isn't clear, said Chief Richard Biehl.

There were no details provided on when funeral services would be held for Connor and Megan Betts, according to Conner & Koch Funeral Home.

The obituary for Connor Betts, which was removed from the funeral home's website Wednesday, said he loved music and had been working as a grill cook and studying at Sinclair Community College.

His sister's obituary described her as a "loving, intelligent and bright young woman" and said she was to graduate from Wright State University in December with an earth science degree.

It also said she hoped to work for NASA on exploring the possibility of life on other planets.