DALLAS - A man arrested after the death of a teenage girl has been sentenced to 18 years in prison, but the sentence was on weapons charges, not for murder.
No one was ever charged with the murder of Shavon Randle, but the judge who sentenced Darius Fields said she believes he played a role in her death.
Fields faced up to 25 years in prison, but he ended up being given an 18-year sentence. He will have to serve at least 85 percent of the sentence, which is 15 years and three months.
The sentencing hearing began in April with some testimony, but was then reset. Fields was sentenced on Friday.
Prosecutors argued Fields’ actions led to the killing of 13-year-old Randle, who was shot execution-style over $100,000 worth of stolen marijuana. Fields was found guilty on three weapons charges last April.
Investigators believe things all started when drugs were stolen from Fields’ girlfriend, which led to Shavon’s kidnapping in retaliation and ultimately her death.
They don’t believe she was the intended target. But she was the only one home when the kidnappers arrived. She was then killed and left in an abandoned Oak Cliff house in July 2017.
Another man, Michael Titus, was also found dead in the home. Investigators believe he may have killed Shavon, then he was killed as a cover-up.
Testimony focused on how Fields’ actions led to Randle’s death.
The government argued that Fields ordered the kidnapping and killing of Randle, but the judge said she could not conclude with the evidence before her that he ordered her kidnapping and killing.
But in considering the relevant conduct of his life - the history and characteristics she called it - Judge Barbara Lynn gave Fields an 18-year sentence.
“Nah, that’s not fair. That’s not enough,” Randle’s family members said after the sentence came down.
“Having to keep going through this, having to see them, and them trying to prove that he the best kid in the whole wide world. No, he not,” Randle’s mother, Shaquana Presley, said. “He took my baby, and I can’t get my baby back. So whether they would have given him 50 years, that wouldn’t have been enough. It wouldn’t have been enough.”
Among those in the courthouse with Randle’s mother was the mother of Michael Titus, who was involved in the drugs that ultimately led to Randle’s murder.
“Drugs was involved, but my son did not deserve to lose his life, and this baby sure didn’t deserve it. She didn’t have nothing to do with it,” said Angel Titus.
Defense attorneys for Fields believe the sentence could have been much worse.
“I believe him with all my heart. At the same time, it could have been substantially worse,” attorney Michael Levine said. “So I’m relieved in that respect.”
“We’re happy that the judge made a finding that he did not have anything to do with the, orchestrating the kidnapping of [Randle],” attorney Bill Cox added. “She made it clear that he didn’t order that kidnapping.”
While the judge couldn’t conclude that Fields ordered the kidnapping, she said that he could have stopped it.
“But she did fell like as though, during the course of the life of that kidnapping, that [Fields] knew about it, and by her words, he could have stopped it,” former prosecutor Aaron Wiley said. “At the end of the day, if [Fields] could have stopped it, what [the judge] is saying is that [Fields] could have saved her life."
Before he was sentenced, Fields told the judge that there was a lot he’s done and he isn’t proud of, but nothing that he’s ashamed of.
Adding that he would be ashamed to say he was involved in the kidnapping and killing of Randle.
Judge Lynn told Fields that while he may not have killed Randle, she thought he was a violent man with violent tendencies
This may be as close as Randle’s family gets to holding anyone accountable for her murder.
Right now, the other defendants are charged with aggravated kidnapping. Those trials begin next month.