Medical examiner, cousins testify in murder trial; defense asks that case be dismissed

‘You have so many supporters,’ judge’s friend tells murder suspect

Edited version of the video from the jail visit between St. Clair County Circuit Judge Ron Duebbert supporter Donna Ayers and murder suspect David E. Fields.
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Edited version of the video from the jail visit between St. Clair County Circuit Judge Ron Duebbert supporter Donna Ayers and murder suspect David E. Fields.

The first-degree murder trial against David E. Fields continued Thursday as a medical examiner took the stand and testified about the fatal injuries Carl Silas suffered on Dec. 29, 2016, in a Belleville apartment.

Fields is accused of breaking into his aunt’s apartment at 2913 West Blvd., near Belleville, ordering people in the apartment to give him money, then shooting and killing Silas as he lay in bed.

St. Clair County Medical Examiner Kamal Sabharwal told the jury Silas died from gunshot wounds to his head.

“(His) brain stem was completely obliterated,” Sabharwal said “There were two entrance wounds to his head.” There were no bullet exit wounds, Sabharwal added.

The jurors viewed photos of Silas’ brain as Charles Colburn, the special prosecutor on the case, displayed them on a big screen as he talked to Sabharwal. The jury observed a picture of Silas’ skull fractured by gunshots.

While the jury was out of the room and just before the lunch recess, defense attorney Brittany Kimble asked St. Clair County Circuit Judge Robert Haida to dismiss the case because the witnesses brought by the state were not credible.

Kimble went on to say that the witnesses basically impeached themselves — depending on who asked the questions, the witnesses stories changed, she said.

“Jamie Lott was not credible. Michael Taylor, depending on who asked him the questions, his story changed,” Kimble said.

Fields’ cousin, Michael A. Taylor Jr., now lives out of state but testified Wednesday that he lived with Carl Silas in a Belleville apartment and was there the night Silas was shot and killed. He told the jury one of the two masked men responsible for Silas’s death was Fields.

Kimble said Taylor couldn’t identify person who came in the door.

“Jamie Lott didn’t give this long extra story she came in here and testified before you,” Kimble told Haida. “Kimble said on the 911 tape Lott said no one but Silas was injured and when she testified Wednesday she talked about Field’s hitting her with the butt of the gun two times.”

Jamie Lott is also Fields’ cousin and shared children with Silas.

“The state has not met their burden of proof,” Kimble said. Haida denied her request to dismiss the case, saying the jury may find the witnesses brought by the state credible.

Raynard Parker, who was in the apartment when the killing happened, testified that he was in the bedroom with Jamie’s mother and Taylor.

Parker said he believes it was about 4:30 a.m. when he heard three shots. Later he said he wasn’t sure how many shots and added the gunshots had startled him. He said he had just laid down when he heard the gunshots and jumped up to see what was going on.

Then Parker testified that two men were at the bedroom where he was laying with Jamie’s mother. The woman got up from the bed and ran out of the room. Parker said she began struggling with one of the men and a second man with a a red bandana ran into the room and hit Parker on the nose two times, breaking it.

Colburn showed jurors pictures of Parker’s bloody body. He said he could not identify either one of the men who were in the apartment. Parker told the court he has never been more terrified than that night.

“He told me to lay down. I squatted down and pleaded with him not to kill me. He said ‘Yo Yo, it’s time to go.’”

Asked how the two guys got into the apartment, Parker told the jury “the door was as weak as water.”

Parker told defense attorney Ryan E. Neal that the suspect who struck him left with his wallet, but he later found it in the hallway.

He also testified that he had never met David Fields and was at that apartment every day, mostly in the evenings.

“I don’t know who he is to this day,” Parker said.

David Fields Provided

Lott, testified Thursday that she was positive that the man who shot Silas was her cousin. She said she recognized him from his eyes and voice.

“He’s family. You know your family,” Lott said.

The 26-year old is the mother of Silas’ two children.

She said Fields had come to the apartment the night before Silas died asking him for money. Lott said she went to bed at 2 a.m., after Silas and one of his daughters had gone to bed.

Lott said Fields, who she called Day-Day, had along gun.

“It was big,” she said.

Lott testified that he hit her on the left side of her face and her lip with the butt of the gun.

Kimble asked Lott how she could positively identify Fields when it was so dark in the room. Lott said the blue light from the television in her room allowed her to see him.

Lott said there was an opening in the eyes, nose and mouth of the mask. Kimble asked her whether she was upset with Silas that night after learning he had impregnated another woman.

“No ma’am, we were happy,” Lott answered.

Lott testified that her daughter had been shaking Silas and telling him to get up , but he didn’t move after being shot. Lott said the incident happened at 4:30 a.m. Police came to the apartment at 4:58 a.m.

Lott also testified that while her mother was struggling with her cousin, he cocked the gun and started using prone language with her.

Fields previously resided with St. Clair County Circuit Judge Ronald Duebbert.

The judge has said that he was “being Christian” and trying to help Fields turn his life around. Duebbert is gay but has said he was not in a romantic relationship with Fields.

Duebbert, a Republican, defeated longtime Democrat and former Chief Judge John Baricevic in the Nov. 8 election. He was sworn in Dec. 6.

St. Clair County Chief Judge Andrew Gleeson signed an order appointing special prosecutor to review the Major Case Squad’s request for charges against Duebbert. The motion stated the offense is “obstructing justice.”

Gleeson removed Duebbert from felony cases after he learned Fields, who was on parole, lived with Duebbert. Duebbert has said Fields moved out before he was sworn in as judge.

Carolyn P. Smith has worked for the Belleville News-Democrat for 18 years and currently covers breaking news in the Metro-East. She graduated from the Journalism School at the University of Missouri at Columbia and says news is in her DNA.
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