Alleged Mastermind of a 13-year-old Girl’s Killing Faces Justice — But It’s Not a Murder Trial

Any day now, Darius Fields will be sentenced on firearms charges, including the illegal possession of a weapon. So why have federal prosecutors spent much of the past two days accusing him of orchestrating the kidnapping and murder of a 13-year old girl? Why does his normally routine sentencing hearing look and feel like a murder trial? Under a controversial federal law, prosecutors can present evidence of uncharged crimes against defendants at their sentencing to seek stiffer prison terms, and judges can consider that evidence in deciding punishment. Darius Fields has never been charged in connection with any murder. But prosecutors are allowed to present evidence they say proves he ordered the kidnapping and murder of 13-year-old Shavon Randle, who was killed for a drug deal-turned-robbery that she had nothing to do with. If U.S. District Judge Barbara Lynn decides that the government proved Fields' involvement in the events that led to Shavon's murder in June 2017, she can use that to give him the max of 25 years in prison. Otherwise he might have faced only as much as 9 to 11 years behind bars.   Continue reading...

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