Middletown man out of jail after no indictment in fatal stabbing

Middletown man out of jail after no indictment in fatal stabbing

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Zachary Fields has been released from the Butler County Jail after a grand jury failed to return an indictment against him for a stabbing death in July. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

A Middletown man has been released from the Butler County Jail after a grand jury declined to indict him for a fatal stabbing last month on Shafor Street.

Zachary Fields, 19, of Shafor Street, was charged by Middletown police with murder in the death of Nick Kriner, 34, last month.

Fields called 911 after the fatal stabbing and told dispatchers that he acted in self-defense.

Fields was released from jail about 12:30 p.m. today after a grand jury no billed the felony charge against him, according to court records and Assistant Butler County Prosecutor David Kash.

“I have been assaulted and attacked, and he would not listen to stay away from me and I stabbed him,” Fields told the dispatcher.

Kriner, according to Fields, was his sister’s boyfriend.

Fields also told the dispatcher, “have it on video, I am pretty sure.”

“Fields admitted to stabbing Kriner,” Middletown Detective Jon Hoover said in an affidavit for a search warrant for two cell phones. “He (Fields) advised that he had video recorded the incident using his cell phone. Fields also advised that Nicholas Kriner was also recording.”

Hoover testified during a preliminary hearing that there are four to five videos of the incident from both Fields and Kriner’s phones. None of them show the actual stabbing, but much of the incident leading up to it.

The detective said some of the videos show Fields trying to get away from Kriner and Kriner following him.

Kriner had slurred speech in the video that could indicate he was intoxicated, Hoover said.

The altercation between the men began when Kriner came into Fields’ room and took a gaming device and a television, Fields told Hoover.

Fields said he told Kriner to take the items and leave, but the verbal altercation continued with Kriner at one point shoving Fields against the wall, Hoover testified.

Fields obtained a knife and went back into the bedroom, but Kriner followed him, the detective said.

Hoover said Fields told him he told Kriner, “Don’t come near me again, I will hurt you, don’t come near me, I will stab you.”

Fields then stabbed Kriner once in the chest, Hoover said.

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