Middletown chief says ‘nobody deserves’ to be shot, killed

A 48-year-old Middletown man fatally shot Friday night in his vehicle was well known to police and had a lengthy criminal past, according to court records.

Benny A. Barefield, of the 800 block of Ninth Avenue, was found slumped over the wheel at about 10:30 p.m. Friday in the area of Yankee Road and Ninth Avenue, according to police.

MORE: Middletown man charged in crash that killed Rumpke worker arraigned

Barefield was transported to Atrium Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. His death was ruled a homicide and he suffered a gunshot to the chest, according to Doyle Burke, chief investigator for the Warren County Coroner’s Office, which is investigating since Barefield died in that county.

Maj. Scott Reeve of the Middletown Division of Police said Barefield and the vehicle were struck by gunfire.

Detectives worked all weekend and are continuing to investigate the city’s third homicide of 2018, Reeve said.

Barefield had 196 cases in Middletown Municipal Court dating back to 1993 for various violations including driving infractions, disorderly conduct, tampering with evidence, domestic violence, menacing and drug charges, according to court records.

MORE: Car stuck on tracks hit by train in Hamilton

In 2011, Barefield was sentenced to 36 months in prison after being convicted of trafficking in cocaine.

Maj. David Birk said there were no drugs found in Barefield’s possession when he was shot.

“He had a lot of relationships,” Birk said. “We are looking at everything.”

Chief Rodney Muterspaw said detectives do not know a motive for Barefield’s murder.

“Regardless of his record and number of arrests, nobody deserves this,” the chief said. “We are working the case with everything we have and are hoping those in the community who know something step forward to help.”

Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Kristi Hughes at 513-425-7733.

ExploreMORE: Accused moving scam mastermind housed in Butler County

About the Author