The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, November 04, 2020 2:22 pm

Berne man sentenced to 55 years in slaying

MATTHEW LEBLANC | The Journal Gazette

An Adams County judge today ordered a man responsible for a grisly 2019 slaying to serve 55 years in prison.

Austin Griffith, 35, stabbed Kayla Bentley, 34, more than two dozen times inside her Berne home Sept. 12, 2019. Griffth pleaded guilty but mentally ill in October to murder. He was sentenced in Adams Circuit Court to serve 55 years of a 65-year sentence behind bars.

Adams County Prosecutor Jeremy Brown said Griffith asked to take back the guilty plea, but a judge rejected that in a hearing this morning.

Police who arrived at Continental Village Apartments found Bentley sitting on a chair in front of the upstairs apartment they said she dragged herself to after the attack.

"I had to stop the sick God," Griffith told a Berne police officer, according to court documents. "I had to stop it or humanity was at risk. My God, Satan, blessed her with no pain."

The guilty but mentally ill plea means Griffith will be treated for mental health problems in prison.

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