Crowded courtroom watches as judge decides teen charged in Middletown murder will be tried as adult

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Judge Ronald Craft finds probable cause to send the case to adult court. Cyon Spicer's case will now be considered by a Butler County grand jury.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

A 17-year-old, one of four charged in connection with the December shooting death of a Middletown man, will be tried as an adult.

The courtroom was filled on Tuesday during a probable cause hearing for Cyon Spicer, who is charged with aggravated murder and participating in a criminal gang for the Dec. 14 murder of Benny Barefield while he sat in his car at Ninth Avenue and Yankee Road.

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After the hearing that included Middletown Detective Kristi Hughes as the sole witness, county Juvenile Court Judge Ronald Craft found sufficient evidence for probable cause. Because of Spicer’s age and the severity of the charge, the case was a mandatory bind-over to adult court. A grand jury will now consider the case.

Hughes investigated the Barefield shooting. She said she found the victim’s car with three bullet holes when she got to the scene, but no casings. The casings were found a few blocks away at Barefield’s home. Security video showed Barefield sitting in his car and a person walking up and shooting him, Hughes said.

The person firing the shots was identified, through investigation, as Quanterius Keith, Hughes testified. Spicer got the gun from his home and handed the gun to Keith moments before he got out of the car and shot Barefield, the detective said.

Hughes said that during an interview on Dec. 31, Spicer said he “ didn’t care if Benny was killed.”

When asked why the homicide occurred, Spicer said he heard there were some arguments between Barefield and Keith’s father, perhaps concerning a previous homicide, Hughes testified.

The detective testified that Dwight Bailey II told her he was the driver of the vehicle, Spicer was in the passenger side and Keith and Daniel Fitzgerald were in the backseat.

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Hughes said that through investigation, police learned Spicer contacted a friend after the shooting on Facetime and asked about hiding a gun. She acknowledged that the weapon was never recovered when questioned by defense attorney Kim Bui.

The detective said Spicer is a member of the Roadrunner gang and has been seen on social media wearing Roadrunner T-shirts and showing gang signs.

Bui questioned whether detectives continued to interrogate Spicer after he allegedly said, “No, I just want to go to JDC.”

The line of questioning was sustained by the judge following an objection by the defense because it pertained to a suppression motion, which was not being argued during the hearing.

Hughes answered “no” when asked if Spicer pulled the trigger, but the detective said the investigation indicates Spicer knew Barefield was going to get shot.

Spicer, Keith, Bailey II and Fitzgerald, the last three all 21, are accused of conspiring to kill the 48-year-old father of 10 children.

Middletown police say the four are either a part of the Road Runner gang or conspired with gang members in the killing, and that the incident is part of a string of crimes in the city.

Keith’s and Bailey’s cases are now waiting to be considered by a Butler County grand jury. Middletown police are still looking for Fitzgerald.

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