DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Darius Fields, a drug trafficker implicated in the kidnapping of 13-year-old Shavon Randle, who’s body was found inside an abandoned home, was sentenced to 18 years in federal prison on Friday.
Following a three-day trial in April 2018, Fields, then 27, was convicted on two counts of “lying and buying” – aiding and abetting false statements in the acquisition of a firearm – and one count of unlawful possession of a pistol.
At his sentencing, prosecutors introduced evidence indicating Fields was involved in Randle’s kidnapping. She was then killed following a dispute over stolen marijuana.
Local law enforcement has named Fields a “person of interest” in the Randle case, but has not charged Mr. Fields in connection with the teen’s murder.
The prosecution also presented evidence that Fields and his associates originally planned to kidnap Randle’s adult cousin, L.R., in retribution for her boyfriend’s supposed theft of their marijuana.
When they arrived at her residence and discovered L.R. was gone, Fields’ associates instead abducted Ms. Randle, forcing her out of the house with a pillowcase over her head, agents testified. They later used a prepaid phone to call L.R. with a ransom demand: Return the stolen marijuana or they would kill the young girl.
Four days later, authorities discovered Randle’s body, with gunshot wounds in her head and torso, decomposing alongside the body of another dealer inside an abandoned home in Oak Cliff.
Additional evidence introduced at sentencing also indicated that shortly after Ms. Randle’s body was found, Mr. Fields, then incarcerated at Fannin County Jail, bragged to a fellow inmate about his involvement in the Randle murder, the inmate testified.
“We can never heal this family’s wound, but we hope the knowledge that Mr. Fields will spend 18 years behind bars brings Ms. Randle’s loved ones some measure of relief,” said U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox. “Thankfully, federal law gives Judges discretion to adjust a defendant’s sentence based on all the relevant circumstances of the crime and the defendant’s criminal history, provided the sentence remains within the statutory range for the crime of conviction. In this case, as in all cases, we wanted the Judge to have all the pertinent facts – including the full extent of defendants’ involvement in the kidnapping of an innocent thirteen-year-old. It would be irresponsible for us not to provide the Court with such evidence.”
“Thank you to our partners at the Lancaster, Irving, and Dallas Police Departments as well as the FBI special agents whose tireless commitment ensured a positive outcome,” said Matthew J. DeSarno, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Dallas Division. “This collaborative team effort demonstrates the dedication of DFW area law enforcement to the communities we serve.”