The family of Benny Barefield took to the streets Middletown recently with signs and shirts announcing they were seeking justice for the father of 10 who as gunned down on Dec. 14.
Four suspects were charged shortly after Barefield was shot in his car near the intersection of Ninth Avenue and Yankee Road. But last month, after a Butler County grand jury declined to indict three of them, charges were dismissed against all suspects.
Middletown police and prosecutors say the case is still under investigation.
The family, many wearing red for Barefield, who was also known as “Red,” walked from the Sonny Hill Community Center on Lafayette Avenue to the intersection of Yankee Road and Ninth Avenue near where Barefield was shot in his car.
Marchers placed “We love you Benny” and “Justice4Red” signs at the memorial where Barefield was found.
Dia Arnold, Barfield’s sister, said police need witnesses to come forward.
“Someone has to do something,” she said. “We just want real justice for my brother. We don’t need retaliation.”
In addition to murder and complicity to murder charges, the suspects also faced gang charges in connection to the Barefield homicide.
“The grand jury decided at this time in history there was insufficient evidence that rose to a level of at least probable cause with admissible evidence to proceed to a trial,” said Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser after the charges were dropped.
“But that does not mean that the case is over. I would rather have this happen now, than acquittal on evidence that was insufficient to convict.”
Thank you for reading the Journal-News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to exclusive deals and newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Journal-News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.