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Family Of Officer Ben Bertram Releases Statement

Last updated on Monday, December 17, 2018

(CHARLESTOWN) - The Family of Benton Hurley “Ben” Bertram, the Charlestown officer killed in the line of duty has released a public statement.

"We would like to thank the Charlestown Community and all the surrounding communities for the outpouring of support for our family and our beloved Ben. We would also like to thank everybody for respecting our privacy during this time."

"We would ask that everyone please keep our public safety personnel in your thoughts and prayers."

A pursuit that began on Wednesday, December 12th, in Clark County claimed the life of Officer Ben Bertram and landed a Freetown man behind bars.


At approximately 10:20 p.m., Clark County Central Dispatch notified the Indiana State Police in Sellersburg of a pursuit involving a vehicle and the Charlestown City Police Department in Clark County.

This pursuit continued into Scott County and resulted in a crash, claiming the life of 33-year-old Officer Bertram, of the Charlestown City Police Department. Officer Bertram also served as the department's K-9 officer. Officer Benton Bertram was a nine-year veteran of the Charlestown Police Department.

According to police, the pursuit began near Charlestown, when Officer Bertram attempted to stop a teal colored 1998 Toyota Corolla for a traffic violation.

pursuit fatal.jpg

The driver 35-year-old Benjamin Eads, of Freedom, fled driving north on State Road 3 and continued into Scott County.

The pursuit continued north on State Road 3 and approached the east intersection of State Road 3 and State Road 56 east of Scottsburg.

Eads appeared in Scott County Circuit Court for an advisement of rights hearing Friday. He does not yet have an attorney.

Inside the courtroom, Eads kept his head and eyes down, oftentimes refusing to answer Judge Alison Frazier's questions saying he did not understand his rights.

In setting the high cash-only bond of $100,000, Judge Frazier said that the information so far indicates Eads "is a danger to the community, has "a disregard for human life," and "a disdain for the court's authority."

The judge also called Eads a flight risk, noting he was on home incarceration at the time of the pursuit. According to online court records, he pleaded guilty to battery of a public safety official in Clark County in March 2017, to which he was sentenced to 18 months of home incarceration. Those terms of probation were later revoked.

After Friday's hearing, Prosecutor Chris Owens sat next to Charlestown Police Chief Keith McDonald and assured a room full of law enforcement and media that his office, the Scott County Sheriff's Department and the Indiana State Police will "not leave any stone unturned in this investigation."

"From all accounts that I've been told, we lost a damn good officer on Dec. 12," Owens told the group. "My heart goes out to everyone who's touched by this. Southern Indiana is a little bit less than what it was a few days ago because of this loss."

A Life Celebration services will be held on Tuesday at 11 a.m. at the Charlestown High School Gymnasium. Visitation will be held at the Charlestown High School today from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Tuesday, from 9 to 11 a.m. until the time of service.

Expressions of sympathy may be made to the Ben Bertram Memorial Canine Fund in c/o The New Washington State Bank, 1059 Market Street in Charlestown, IN 47111.

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