This morning, Shawn Fields, the motorist who stands accused of Daniel Marin’s death had his first courtroom encounter with Judge Lloyd M. Nash. Shawn Fields’ defense was handled by private counsel Sorkin. The atmosphere was fairly tense, with Danny’s parents, uncle and sisters in attendance, as well as some of Shawn’s family.
Most of the today’s cases dealt with common traffic infractions such as driving without a license or while uninsured. The judge assured all of those present that this batch of cases would be handled in about 10 minutes, then he proceeded with the most heinous crime, the DUI hit-and-run which took Danny’s life. Just to clarify, these are the charges brought against 26-year old Shawn Fields:
- 191.5(A) PC – Gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated; technically, this should result in jailtime
- 23153 (A) VC – Driving Under Influence of Alcohol or Drugs
- 23153 (B) VC – DUI Causing Injury
- 20001 (A) VC – Failure to Stop at Scene of Accident
As soon as Shawn Fields stepped up to the front of the courtroom, Judge Nash stated that bail should have been automatically at least 150K (not 100K) due to the manslaughter charge, and ordered to bailiff to handcuff Shawn and place him in a holding cell adjacent to the courtroom.
The defense lawyer (Sorkin) stressed that Shawn Fields had no previous record. Judge responded it will be hard to defend Shawn since the car had a shattered windshield, so he was either too drunk to realize that he hit someone, or he knowingly took off. Failure to obey Vehicle Code section 20001 (A), stopping at the scene of a collision involving injury or death, is more commonly known as a Hit and Run. The defense lawyer agreed that the visibly damaged windshield will be a problem for him to explain to a jury, if the case gets to that point.
Judge Nash said this case will require a “custodial sentence” – mandatory jail or prison time, due to the Gross Vehicular Manslaughter charge. He also mentioned possible remittance to the victim’s family.
According to the LASD Inmate Info website, Shawn’s family posted the remainder of the bail amount (10% of 50K = $5,000) by 3pm this afternoon, so he was in custody for just over 5 hours.
Next hearing is Nov 4th, same courtroom (courtroom S). The exact time has not been posted yet.
If you’d like to attend, the easiest way up (other than a chopper, plane or car), is to take the Red Line to NoHo, then ride up Tujunga to Glenoaks, or Chandler to Woodman (perceived safest route). If you have a better suggestion, please do post it in the comments. It’s a lonely ride, so bring a friend.