Holton man arrested in connection with fight now claims self-defense

Wanda English Burnett

A fight with no definite reason given, has landed one man back in jail and left another dead.

According to information from a Probable Cause Affidavit filed in Ripley County Circuit Court on May 4 the incident occurred just a month earlier on April 3 on Benham Road near Versailles.

The main players are Jeremiah J. McIntosh, 34, of Holton, who is now charged with the death of Jeffrey E. Benham, 48, of Versailles.

At the scene of the fight, deputies from the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office, Deputy Rob Bradley and Lt. Randy Holt, responded. They saw Benham lying on the ground with a head injury they would later learn came from being hit by a ball bat swung by McIntosh.
At one place in the affidavit it noted that Jason McIntosh, brother of Jeremiah McIntosh, told police Benham showed up at his residence (Jason’s) with at least 40 people the day of the fight. Basically, he told police his brother was defending himself against Benham.
Benham was airlifted to University Hospital, Cincinnati, on April 3 where he stayed until he died on April 17. The emergency room doctor told police Benham sustained extensive injury to his head, which in turn had a major detrimental impact on his brain and its functioning.

A pathologist at University Hospital declared the cause of death “blunt force trauma.”

After the fight, McIntosh fled to St. Cloud, Florida. He was arrested there on May 4 and transported back to Ripley County by Ripley County Sheriff’s Detective Abe Hildebrand and Ripley County Prosecutor’s investigator Kurt Enneking.

In the Probable Cause there were a lot of people telling first one story and then another as the scene went from one of a fight to one of someone losing their life.

A lady who was at the residence of Jason McIntosh told police that “Jeremiah jumped in her car and laid down.” This was just after the altercation with the bat had occurred. She said she drove away because she “wanted to get out of there quickly because she had her children with her.” During the ride to another friend’s house, she told police “Jeremiah said, “I threw my life away...I think I killed him...I’m going back to jail.”

McIntosh had just been released from jail the day before the altercation had taken place. He told police on May 4 that he ran to Florida because he was scared. He also told authorities that Benham had a stick in his hand when he came up the driveway. He said Benham swung at him first, and then when he hit Benham, he (Benham) dropped. He said he only hit Benham one time.

McIntosh has now been formally charged with Voluntary Manslaughter, a Class A felony and Aggravated Battery, a Class B felony. He is incarcerated in the Ripley County Jail where bond has been set for $250,000.

Jeremiah J. McIntosh