MOUNT VERNON — The murder trial for a Gambier man accused of shooting and killing his cousin begins today in Knox County Common Pleas Court.
Kevin Remillard, 49, will have his case heard before a jury on charges of murder, an unclassified felony, and tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony. Remillard faces 15 years to life in prison on the murder charge.
Remillard is charged with fatally shooting his 20-year-old cousin, Nick Remillard, at their Gaskin Road residence June 10, 2017. Nick’s body was found in a swimming pool at the residence, dead from a single gunshot wound.
Remillard, who has been in the Knox County Jail since he turned himself in June 14, 2017, will appear in court wearing civilian clothing but will also be wearing restraints and a shock belt.
Knox County Public Defender John Pyle said Remillard is the only witness he plans to call to testify for the defense. However, Pyle declined to say whether Remillard has agreed to testify.
Assistant Public Defender John Dankovich will assist the defense at trial. Knox County Prosecuting Attorney Chip McConville will be assisted by Assistant Prosecuting Attorney David Merrell.
McConville said he expects to call “16 to 17” witnesses to testify. The trial is expected to run through Friday, McConville said.
The witnesses include Remillard’s neighbor, Nick’s mother, officers from local law enforcement and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, and medical experts including Knox County Coroner Dr. Jennifer Ogle.
A firearm will not be among the evidence presented at trial. Remillard allegedly shot Nick with a .357 caliber handgun, but the handgun has never been recovered.
A request for a jury site viewing of the Gaskin Road residence by Pyle was turned down by Common Pleas Judge Richard Wetzel.
Still outstanding is a motion filed Friday by Dankovich, asking that Facebook posts from Kevin’s account be excluded from trial. According to Dankovich’s motion, “many” of the Facebook posts are “not original content created by the defendant, but rather re-posts of other people’s memes and creations.” The posts include images of skeletons and “morbid jokes.” Some have anti-religious and Second Amendment themes, Dankovich writes.
The murder was discovered after a neighbor called 911 to report Kevin had left several items in his driveway along with a note. Knox County Sheriff’s deputies entered the Remillard home and found blood, but could not locate Nick or Kevin. Nick’s body was found several hours later in the swimming pool which had not been used for years.
The sheriff’s office reported that a note was found in Kevin’s room which stated he had killed someone named Nick.
Kevin eluded capture for several days finally turning himself in at Pyle’s office. Remillard walked with Pyle to the Mount Vernon Police Department where he was arrested.