Suspect in police chase that led to officer death in court Friday

Suspect in chase that led to Charlestown officer's death appears in court

SCOTTSBURG, IN (WAVE) - The man accused of stealing a car and leading police on a chase that claimed the life of a Charlestown city police appeared in court for the first time Friday afternoon.

Scott County Sheriff deputies surrounded Benjamin Eads as he was led from the Scott County Jail to the courthouse, silently guarding the man whose alleged crimes connect him to the death of one of their brothers in blue. The silence in the air weighs heavy as they march Eads into court.

Inside the courtroom, much of the Charlestown Police Department sit, wearing badges with black bands to honor Charlestown Police Sergeant Ben Bertram. Bertram was killed Wednesday night when the car he was driving following Eads on a police chase crashed into a tree, killing him.

With three deputies standing behind him, Eads kept his head down through most of the court hearing.

A judge gave Scott County Prosecutor Chris Owens more time to sift through the evidence and charge Eads for his role in the chase that killed Bertram.

"From all accounts that I've been told, we lost a damn good officer December 12. He was a good friend and a good police officer and I've heard stories from people who've worked with him over the past couple of days. And my heart goes out to everyone who's touched by this," Owens said.

Owens said they asked the judge for the continuance in Eads' initial hearing because of the amount of evidence still coming in to the office.

"I want everyone to know that the Scott County Prosecutor's office, the Indiana state police and the Scott County Sheriff's department will not leave any stone unturned in this investigation. We're doing everything we can to continue to gather information and in fact, just before walking into the courtroom moments ago more information came through the door," Owens said.

Eads refused to answer most questions by the judge, telling her at one point he didn't understand his rights.

A $100,000 cash only bond was set for Eads, the judge said that was due in part because he's considered to be a danger to the community and has a disregard for human life.

Eads will be back in court Monday afternoon for the initial hearing.

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