Federal prosecutors plan to use evidence from Shavon Randle’s murder investigation against a man who will be sentenced on federal gun charges.
Randle's murder broke the hearts of many North Texans. The 13-year-old was kidnapped, killed, and left in an abandoned Oak Cliff house over stolen dope that she had no part in.
Many people were arrested, but none have been charged with her murder.
Darius Fields is one of two people convicted on gun charges surrounding Randle's disappearance and death.
Laporsha Polley has already been sentenced to federal prison time for federal firearms violations.
Fields, who will be sentenced on the same charges as Polley, will be connected to Randle’s 2017 killing through what’s called relevant conduct.
That’s part of federal sentencing law to assure that defendants are held accountable for all the crimes they’ve committed, even if the government could not prove those crimes beyond a reasonable doubt.
Court documents indicate at his sentencing hearing, federal prosecutors will "focus on Fields’ responsibility for the kidnapping and murder of a 13-year-old over stolen drugs," though he has not been charged with that.
“That can be used most probably as relevant conduct,” said former federal prosecutor John Teakell, who is not involved in the case. “[Relevant conduct is] to bring in conduct that was not charged because there was not sufficient evidence to actually go forward with an indictment at that time, but to include it for his sentencing now.”
Using relevant conduct will hold Fields somewhat responsible for Randle's murder, though he has not been charged with her killing.
“To increase his points under the sentencing guidelines, and thus his imprisonment range,” Teakell explained.
Chief District Judge Barbara Lynn is presiding over this case.
Prosecutors have told the no-nonsense judge that Fields has gone back and forth between defense attorneys and representing himself.
They contend he’s using the system to play cat and mouse with the court and delay proceedings.
Prosecutors will present the murder evidence like a mini-murder trial during Fields’ sentencing, before asking Judge Lynn to give him the maximum he could face on the gun charges: 25 years.