Since late 2010, Danny Jimenez has been kept us in the loop on the Shawn Fields hit and run case, which ended the life of Danny Marin, a 17-year old Kennedy High School student. Details and recent developments below, as written by Danny Jimenez.
Notes from mid-March Preliminary hearing
Judge Beverly O’Connel ordered that Shawn Patrick Fields will be held to answer at trial for the three felonies he was charged with. This means the judge believed there was sufficient evidence for the case to be heard in front of a jury and go to trial.
According to the arresting officer, Fields volunteered a statement before being taken to the police station that he shouldn’t have driven home because he had too much to drink at a wrap up party at the Roosevelt in Hollywood. The officer that administered the breath test at the station noted that his BAC was .14/.15 at about 4:15 a.m. The collision occurred about three hours earlier.
The investigating officer who interviewed Fields also testified. Fields told him he got to the party around 10pm and drank a long island ice tea, a red label whiskey, a gin and tonic, beer and some water before leaving.
He soon after ate a bacon wrapped hot dog and threw up. Fields did not remember driving home, but recalled he may have hit something on the way.
After the presentation of the evidence, Field’s defense attorney, Ellory Sorkin, argued that gross vehicular manslaughter was not the appropriate charge based on the evidence. He argued that all the evidence added up to negligent conduct at most, but not wanton and reckless disregard which is the basis for “gross” vehicular manslaughter charge.
Charges against Shawn Fields
Gross Vehicular Manslaughter carries a minimum 4 year state prison term and maximum 10 year term. Vehicular Manslaughter without gross negligence has a minimum sentence of 1 year in county jail and maximum state prison term of 4 years.
Ultimately the judge did not agree and ordered Fields to answer for the crimes as originally charged. Four felony counts:
- Penal Code 191.5(a) – gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated
- Vehicle Code 23153(a) & (b) – driving under the influence causing injury
- Vehicle Code 20001(a) – hit and run with injury.
On March 30, Fields was arraigned again in the felony trial court, where he entered a plea of Not Guilty to all the counts. On May 11, there was a pretrial hearing, but it was continued to June 22.
He is still out on bail but ordered to return on each of the hearing dates.