Prosecutors: Rock Hill man withdrew $14,000 after killing wife, granddaughter

dys@heraldonline.comApril 2, 2014 

Ronald Fred Gregory

Ronald Fred Gregory

ROCK HILL HERALD

— A Rock Hill man withdrew $14,000 from his credit union after killing his wife and 9-year-old granddaughter last month, according to court documents filed by prosecutors.

Ronald Fred Gregory also withdrew $25,000 from his credit union the day before the killings, according to documents filed by Kevin Brackett, 16th Circuit solicitor.

At the time of the killings, Gregory, his wife, Barbara, and son, Kevin Gregory, were locked in a custody battle over the girl, Mia Rodgers, with her maternal grandparents. Kevin Gregory was the girl’s father. Her mother died last year.

Gregory, jailed without bond, could face a death penalty trial if prosecutors decide to seek capital punishment in the case. In South Carolina, people sentenced to death can choose to die by lethal injection or the electric chair.

Gregory, 67, is on suicide watch at the York County jail after trying to kill himself after he shot both victims, according to police documents and arrest warrants. His court-appointed lawyers claim they have “serious concerns” about Gregory’s mental state both now and at the time of the shootings.

Prosecutors allege in the court filing that Gregory shot his wife, then his granddaughter, and then went to the bank before calling police. He used a cashier’s check in the name of his daughter to withdraw $14,000 after the shootings. Prosecutors could argue that the planned money withdrawals disprove any defense claim that Gregory was mentally incompetent at the time of the killings.

Gregory called 911 around 10:15 a.m March 21, police said. Responding officers found both victims dead and Gregory alive after he shoot himself twice, police reports state. The police report says the killings occurred between 6 p.m. March 20 and 10 a.m. March 21.

While a public defender has been assigned to represent Gregory, prosecutors have filed documents stating he has the assets to pay for his own lawyer.

The documents filed by prosecutors allege that because Gregory owns a home and several vehicles – along with having a brokerage account – he should pay for his defense lawyers and not taxpayers. A magistrate had appointed a public defender to represent Gregory even though he admitted he owned a home and vehicles.

Gregory’s current lawyer, 16th Circuit Public Defender Harry Dest, could not be reached for comment.

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