01/02/14 A Marshall County jury deliberated a little over an hour on February 20, 2013, after which it found Anthony Eugene Fields guilty of Manufacturing Methamphetamine, Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of Precursors with the intent to manufacture Methamphetamine, Maintaining a Common Nuisance, and Possession of Paraphernalia. Judge Robert Bowen sentenced Fields to the maximum sentence allowed under the law of twenty years imprisonment for the offense of manufacturing methamphetamine. Bowen also sentenced Fields to maximum terms of imprisonment for the D felonies and misdemeanors and ordered those sentences to run concurrently. Fields took an appeal of several issues, including his sentence, and Judge Bowen appointed June Bules.
The Indiana Court of Appeals issued a twelve page opinion Tuesday morning (December 31, 2013) that affirmed all the issues challenged by appellate counsel. Those issues included whether Judge Bowen erred for denying trial attorney Edward Ruiz’s motion to exclude a lab report and a motion to continue the trial. Bules also questioned whether Fields was denied his right to the effective assistance of trial counsel. Lastly, Bules requested the Court of Appeals revise Fields’ twenty year prison sentence claiming it was inappropriately lengthy in light of the nature of the offenses and his character. The Court of Appeals stated, “finding no error and declining Fields’s invitation to revise his sentence, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.”
Nelson Chipman, Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney who tried the case stated, “We are very gratified the Court of Appeals not only upheld the jury’s verdict and the conduct of the trial, but also found there were no errors committed. Moreover, the appellate court stated unequivocally that Judge Bowen was justified in sentencing Mr. Fields to the maximum term under the law of twenty years imprisonment for manufacturing methamphetamine.”
The case started when officers from the Marshall County Probation Department conducted a home visit of Mr. Fields in the 16000 block of 14th Road, finding him with another probationer. Fields also acted suspicious upon the arrival of the probation officers who were accompanied by two Indiana State Police officers. A call was then made to the Marshall County Drug Task Force Unit who came to the Fields’ and conducted a search. The State Police Meth Suppression Team was later called to the scene to catalogue and photograph the numerous items found related to the manufacture and consumption of methamphetamine. Officers from the Indiana State Police, the Marshall County Police, and the Marshall County Probation Department assisted with the investigation.