Security again increased as families of Middletown shooting victim, charged teen arrive for hearing

A hearing for a Middletown teen charged in connection with a fatal December shooting as been continued.

The 17-year-old, who is charged with conspiracy to 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, was in Butler County Juvenile Court on Monday for a probable cause hearing, but it was rescheduled for Feb. 12.

Butler County prosecutors want the teen, who will be 18 in September, tried as an adult. Prosecutors have filed notice to have the case sent to adult court for trial.

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Families of both Barefield and the defendant were at the county juvenile justice center, as were extra deputies for security, but they did not enter the courtroom once the new hearing date was announced. The teen was not brought into the courtroom.

Craft ordered the teen to remain in the county juvenile detention center until the next court hearing.

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The teen and three men — Quanterius Keith, Dwight Bailey II and Daniel Fitzgerald, all 21 — are accused of conspiring to kill the 48-year-old father of 10 children. Police say Keith, who is charged with aggravated murder, pulled the trigger.

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 and Bailey are in the Butler County Jail awaiting a Butler County grand to consider their cases. Police are still looking for Fitzgerald.

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