South Carolina fourteenth circuit solicitor Duffie Stone announced the arrest of another individual in connection with the 2021 murder of Bluffton High school student-athlete D’won Fields Jr.
At a press conference in Okatie, S.C., Stone and Beaufort County sheriff PJ Tanner joined law enforcement officers from multiple local and county jurisdictions – as well as agents of the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) – in announcing the arrest of an unnamed juvenile who is alleged to have participated in the murder of Fields.
Fields was shot and killed on the evening of March 5, 2021 in Bluffton, S.C. Bluffton police were dispatched to the scene of a single-car crash between Bluffton Parkway and Hampton Parkway, only to discover the vehicle had been involved in a shooting.
Fields, 18, died at the scene of wounds sustained in the shooting. Edwin Graham, who was also in the vehicle, sustained a gunshot wound to the face but survived. A third passenger, Kylan Simmons, was also wounded.
Only after the fact did the shooters realize they had targeted the wrong vehicle …
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The unnamed juvenile – who was fifteen years old at the time of the shooting – has been charged with murder, two counts of attempted murder, and two counts of assault and battery by a mob. Stone indicated his office was seeking to try this individual – who is now eighteen – as an adult. If successful, that would “waive up” his case from family court to general sessions court in the S.C. fourteenth judicial circuit – resulting in the release of the defendant’s identity.
Stone acknowledged this process was “not common” but told reporters he believed it was the “appropriate thing to do” given the facts of the case.
The unnamed juvenile defendant is currently housed at the S.C. Department of Juvenile Justice (SCDJJ).
Two months ago, 21-year-old Jimmie Green of Hardeeville, S.C. was sentenced to forty years in prison by former S.C. circuit court judge David Craig Brown after pleading guilty to murder for his role in the shooting. Green’s sentence is “day-for-day,” meaning he is not eligible to be released early … although in South Carolina, “mandatory minimums” are obviously not all they are cracked up to be.
In addition to Green and the unnamed juvenile, three others face charges in the aftermath of this fatal shooting – Ty’leic Chaneyfield, Shayniah Void and Jayden Void. Chaneyfield, of Ridgeland, S.C., is also charged with murder, attempted murder and assault and battery by mob.
Fields’ parents attended Thursday afternoon’s press event, praising law enforcement officers for their dedication.
“It won’t bring our son back, but it will take somebody dangerous off the street,” Fields’ father, D’won Fields Sr., told reporters.
As with anyone accused of committing any crime, the unnamed juvenile is considered innocent until proven guilty by our criminal justice system – or until such time as he may wish to enter some form of allocution in connection with a plea agreement with prosecutors related to any of the charges filed against him.
This is a developing story … please check back for updates.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children.
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