A federal judge Friday ruled the longtime friend of the Dayton, Ohio, gunman who killed nine people and injured dozens of others this month, must remain behind bars ahead of his trial.
Ethan Kollie is facing charges not directly linked to the massacre, but with lying on gun forms used to purchase another firearm not used in the attack. Law enforcement officials however say Kollie purchased other accessories used in the shooting and helped hide them from the killer’s family.
Lawyers for Kollie asked that he be released from jail, and requested the court to “consider all reasonable less restrictive alternatives to detention.”
His attorneys noted that Kollie has no criminal record, aside from a single misdemeanor six years ago.
“The Government alleges that Mr. Kollie made a false statement on a firearm application and that he was in possession of a firearm by an unlawful user. Neither offense requires a mandatory prison sentence with a conviction,” the filing states.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael Newman issued a brief two-line ruling that concluded: “The Court has reviewed Defendant’s motion and carefully considered it. Defendant’s motion is DENIED.”
His legal team is appealing the ruling.
Kollie is the only person jailed in connection with the Aug. 4 shooting in Dayton’s bustling Oregon District. As NPR reported earlier this month, Kollie is not charged with helping the gunman carry out the mass shooting. Instead his charges stem from allegedly making false statements about his drug use on federal forms for buying and possessing a gun.
Law enforcement officials say Kollie, in addition to smoking marijuana, also used acid and other “hard drugs,” sometimes with the gunman, 24-year-old Connor Betts.
NPR’s Bobby Allen reported at the time:
“Kollie is accused of lying on a federal form, when he purchased a pistol for himself in May, that required him to answer whether he is a user of any drugs illegal under federal law. Kollie answered no, and officials say that this was a federal crime.”
During a search of Kollie’s apartment after the shooting, federal investigators say, Kollie admitted he purchased body armor, the upper receiver of an AR-15 and an ammunition drum that could hold 100 rounds.
Authorities say the shooter used these accessories during the onslaught and was able to fire 41 rounds before law enforcement engaged and killed him within 30 seconds of when the shooting began.
One of the nine victims killed in the shooting was the gunman’s sibling.