Fields contends self-defense to murder allegations


GREENVILLE — William L. Fields pleads not guilty to murder. Judge Jonathan P. Heins presided.

Fields, 57, of Greenville, was originally appearing based upon a complaint, and now the indictment charge is murder with a firearms specification, an unclassified felony. Murder, the purposeful killing of another person, carries 15 years to life, if convicted, and the firearm specification is a mandatory three years incarceration.

Fields faces 15 years to life plus three years and up to $20,000 in fines if convicted. His pretrial date is set for Nov. 7, and Field’s trial is set tentatively for Dec. 12.

Fields allegedly shot William R. Duncan, 62, at 5059 Smith Road in western Darke County on Oct. 6. Duncan had been found outside near a backdoor with what appeared to be a gunshot wound and was pronounced deceased at the scene. Two witnesses were present.

Field’s defense attorney David Morrell said Fields would be entering a not guilty plea and respectfully remain mute during the course of the case. Morrell did advise the court of a motion to lower the bond placed upon Fields and asking them to look at his financial situation.

“Bond is currently set at $150,000, and my client did ask the court to examine his financial situation much like anyone else’s,” Morrell said.

Morrell brought up two additional reasons they felt bond could be lowered stating Field’s brother lived with him and is very sick. Fields was his brother’s caretaker and is needed home. Fields’ eighth grade teacher also advised Morrell she would testify Fields is a trustworthy person, and she would be willing to come to court to vouch for him saying she trusts him with her credit card.

“In consideration of everything else and the fact my client contends he was acting in self defense, we are requesting a bond of $75,000,” Morrell said.

James Bennett, representing the State in this case, advised the court to set the bond at $150,000 and there isn’t anything that would deter him away from that amount. Judge Hein advised Fields, his staff is working to figure out employment, the ability to use house arrest, and the process takes time.

“At the moment, I am not going to modify the bond, but I want you to know that we are staffing it and getting it all sorted out,” Judge Hein said.

Judge Hein is holding the motion, and bond will continue as previously set at $150,000. Fields will appear for pretrial on Nov. 7.

To contact Daily Advocate Reporter Meladi Brewer, email [email protected].

No posts to display