CRESTLINE — Bond has been set at $1 million each for three Crestline residents who have been charged with murder following the death of a Wyandot County man this week.
According to Crestline Police Chief Jeff Shook, Michael “Mikey” Benedict of Carey was the victim of a severe beating at the hands of three people in the early morning hours of Sunday, Oct. 10 outside of a bar in Crestline. In a press release issued by the Crestline Police Department on Thursday, Nov. 4, Shook said Benedict’s family informed him that Michael Benedict died early Thursday morning, succumbing to the injuries he suffered in the incident that occurred on Oct. 10.
The alleged suspects in the case — Cameron E. Davis, 31, of Crestline; Timothy W. Montgomery, 49, of Crestline; and Jacqueline Montgomery, 43, of Crestline — have each been charged with first-degree murder and are in custody at the Crawford County Jail.
The three suspects made an initial appearance on Thursday before Judge Shane M. Leuthold in Crawford County Municipal Court to hear the charges filed against them. The judge informed all three defendants that the murder charge carries a potential prison sentence of 15 years to life if they are convicted.
According to municipal court online records, Davis was arraigned later in the day on Thursday. A preliminary hearing for Davis has been scheduled for 1 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 12.
Online court records show that bond hearings for Timothy Montgomery and Jacqueline Montgomery are scheduled for 2 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 8. Preliminary hearings for both defendants are scheduled for 2 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 12.
Prosecutor Matt Crall said in court Thursday that Benedict, Davis, and the Montgomerys were all patrons at Just Jokin Bar and Grill in Crestline and were involved in an altercation that prompted the bartender to ask them to leave the establishment. Police were called to the bar, Crall said, but Benedict left the scene while officers were talking to the Montgomerys and Davis. Timothy Montgomery and Davis allege that Benedict struck Jacqueline Montgomery. Crall said police reported that Davis and Timothy Montgomery threatened to harm Benedict physically prior to leaving the bar.
According to a press release issued on Oct. 12, Shook said that at 2:23 a.m. on Oct. 10, officers from the Crestline Police Department responded to a report of a man being beaten in the roadway on Union Street between Wiley Street and Clink Street.
“Upon arrival at the scene a victim was located and found to be the victim of an assault and was unconscious,” Shook said in the press release about the incident issued on Oct. 12. “Crestline Rescue Squad was dispatched to the area and rendered aid to the victim and he was transported to Galion Hospital. Officers interviewed several people and as a result of the investigation, three people were detained and subsequently charged with felonious assault.”
Shook said Benedict was later transported to Grant Medical Center in Columbus where he was listed in critical condition at the time. In late October, Benedict was moved to hospice after being declared brain dead by physicians.
Crall told the judge on Thursday that an eyewitness to the incident told Crestline Police that Davis and the Montgomerys each struck Benedict. Crall said the eyewitness told officers that Benedict was punched and kicked in the head during the incident in the street.
Shook said all three suspects in the case were originally arrested following the incident on Oct. 10 and each was charged with felonious assault, a second-degree felony. Davis was incarcerated at the Crawford County Jail, where he has remained since his arrest on Oct. 10.
Timothy Montgomery and Jacqueline Montgomery were also incarcerated, but later posted bond and were released from jail pending their appearances in the Crawford County Court of Common Pleas.
Shook said following Benedict’s death, Timothy Montgomery and Jacqueline Montgomery were arrested on Thursday morning, Nov. 4 and taken to the Crawford County Jail.