You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Trial starts in death of Springfield man killed ‘execution’ style


The trial of a man accused of fatally shooting another Springfield man began Monday.

Tacota A. Fields, 24, faces several charges, including murder, tampering with evidence, felonious assault and other gun charges, according to court records.

Evidence links Fields to the shooting death of 21-year-old Schuyler Mollett on Aug. 8, 2013, and to other shootings in Springfield, Clark County Prosecutor Andy Wilson said in his opening argument to the jury.

Mollett was discovered in an alleyway near the intersection of North Limestone Street and Stanton Avenue. Springfield police have described his death as an “execution,” court records said. He was found shot six times.

>>DETAILS: Arrest made in 2013 shooting death in Springfield

Fields was arrested in December 2015, more than two years after Mollett’s death. The case went cold after police failed to make any arrests, Wilson said in court. But Fields was arrested after his ex-girlfriend came forward, alleging to police that she was with him the night Mollett was killed, Wilson said, and that Fields was responsible.

“Apply reason and common sense,” Wilson told the jury, “and you’re going to find this defendant guilty.”

Wilson alleged Fields was set off after he was embarrassed in a fight. Mollett was in a group called the “Ratchet Clique,” he said, and Fields and his friends had been feuding with them. Fields’ defense attorney, Mark Wieczorek, said the clique was actually a gang.

Fields allegedly wanted revenge for a fight where he was knocked unconscious, Wilson said, and taken to the hospital in an ambulance.

“That was a blow that his pride just couldn’t take,” he said in court.

Fields also faces charges in connection with separate shootings that left bullets lodged in a house and a church, according to court records. Wilson said the bullets matched those that killed Mollett.

But Wieczorek argued to the jury that no one saw Fields pull the trigger.

>>RELATED: Gun thefts, illegal weapons linked to Springfield violence

“We don’t have the gun either,” Wieczorek said. “Yeah, all the bullets match up but we don’t have the gun.”

He also argued that Fields’ ex-girlfriend isn’t a credible witness because she has said that she hates him and wants him to, “rot in hell.”

“It comes down to the credibility of one, maybe two witnesses,” he said.

Jurors visited Monday five locations related to the case, including the house on Stanton Avenue investigators said Mollett was staying in, as well as the spot his body was found.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Crime

Copy of Declaration of Independence found in unlikely location
Copy of Declaration of Independence found in unlikely location

You never know what could be stashed away in a dusty records office.  Two researchers do know and they made the discovery of a lifetime, thanks to a one-line entry in a catalog from a records office in England, The Washington Post reported. The entry read “Manuscript copy, on parchment, of the Declaration in Congress of the thirteen...
New campaign will focus on the right time to turn car seats around
New campaign will focus on the right time to turn car seats around

Most parents turn their child’s car seat facing forward too early, according to a new study by baby brand Chicco. The study shows that 72 percent of parents say they are uncomfortable talking to other parents about keeping their children riding in a rear-facing position, USA Today reported. >> Read more trending news The ...
Police ‘arrest’ goats on the lam
Police ‘arrest’ goats on the lam

Things can get a little wild in Maine.  Just ask the police in Belfast who had to answer the call to “arrest” a couple of trespassing goats. >> Read more trending news The goats, named Louis and Mowgli, were picked up by Sgt. Daniel Fitzpatrick after he received a call from a woman who had trapped them in her garage. They...
Police who dragged passenger from United flight stand by use of force
Police who dragged passenger from United flight stand by use of force

The police report from the aviation security officers who were recorded on video dragging a passenger off an United Airlines flight earlier this month has been released. >> Read more trending news The officers said David Dao was aggressive and said they used “minimal but necessary force to remove the subject,” WGN reported....
Amateur Florida python hunters can win prizes
Amateur Florida python hunters can win prizes

Catch a snake, win a shirt. And perhaps more. That’s the pitch being made by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which on Monday introduced a “Python Pickup Program.” According to the Tampa Bay Times, anyone who captures a python in the wild can submit a photo of the snake they caught in order to win...
More Stories