Murder charges filed in Berne woman's death

JANNAYA ANDREWS

    A Berne man has been charged with murder in connection with a stabbing Thursday evening.
    Austin S. Griffith, 34, was arrested by sheriff’s deputies and is charged with murder in the death of Kayla N. Bentley, 34, who died as a result of multiple sharp force injuries, according to Adams County Coroner Leslie Cook. Her death has been ruled a homicide.
    According to court records released by Adams County Prosecutor Jeremy Brown, police were dispatched around  8 p.m. to Continental Village Apartments, apt. 306, at 705 Stuckey St. in Berne, in response to a person bleeding.
    Berne police officer Joshua Kimberlin was the first to arrive at the scene, where he discovered Bentley sitting in a chair in front of the apartment of an upstairs neighbor; the neighbor informed Kimberlin Bentley had been stabbed.
  As additional first responders were caring for Bentley, Kimberlin reported he heard someone yell, “I’m over here!” The officer located Griffith, covered with fresh blood, in the northern yard of the apartment building. Kimberlin ordered the suspect to the ground and placed him in handcuffs.
    Griffith reportedly said, “I lost control,” “She’s dying, isn’t she?” and “Oh my god, what did I do?”
    As emergency responders were preparing to transport Bentley, Kimberlin asked who stabbed her. Bentley reportedly said, “Austin.”
    After obtaining a search warrant, Indiana State POlice crime scene investigator John Petro arrived and processed the scene, locating a knife on the living room floor. Due to the amount of blood on the walls, it was determined the stabbing occurred in the bedroom of the apartment, and that Bentley made her way out of the apartment and upstairs to a neighbor in search of help.
    Bentley sustained multiple stab woulds and died on the way to the hospital.
    Griffith was interviewed by Adams County sheriff’s detective Larry Butler after being transported to the county jail. According to the probable cause affidavit, Griffith admitted to stabbing Bentley multiple times. Griffith told Butler Bentley had a god or a monster in her that was terrorizing him. “I had to stop the sick god. I had to stop it or humanity was at risk.” Griffith said the monster inside Bentley was provoking him and “talking s---.” At one point, he reportedly said, “So, I stabbed her to death.”
    Griffith told Butler he was acting on behalf of his god, Satan, saying “My god, Satan, blessed her with no pain.”
    Kimberlin had been dispatched to the apartment Sept. 2, at which time Griffith told the officer he was “tired of Bentley accusing him of cheating on her” and wanted her out of the apartment. There were no accusations of violence at that time.
    An autopsy performed Friday determined Bentley died of 27 stab and slash wounds.     Griffith is being held without bond in the Adams County jail.
 

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