Bell found guilty of murder

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Selma Times-Journal

A jury found 21-year-old Antonio Bell guilty for the murder of Camilo Fields in Circuit Judge Tommy Jones’ court Wednesday afternoon.

The jury – comprised of six men and six women – deliberated for roughly two and a half hours before reaching a verdict while family and friends of both the defendant and the victim anxiously waited for the news.

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“This has been a difficult case for you,” Jones told the jury. “It’s been a difficult case for us all.”

On Sep. 22, 2002, police were dispatched to 608 Texas Court on a “gun shots fired” call. Fields had been shot three times – once to the back of the neck and twice to the right leg.

He was immediately transported to Vaughan Regional Medical Center and air ambulanced to Carraway Methodist Medical Center in Birmingham, according to Dallas County Assistant District Attorney Milton “Mickey” Avery.

Paralyzed from the neck down, Fields identified Bell as his shooter before he died on Oct. 29, 2002. He was 24 years old.

“He picked (Bell) out of a photo lineup,” Avery said.

Prior to the verdict, Bell sat quietly at the defense table. He dropped his head and clasped his hands together, looking as if he was praying. He had entered a plea of not guilty.

District Attorney Michael Jackson said he hopes Bell’s conviction is a wake-up call for obstructers of justice.

“These defendants are going to have to learn taking a life is very serious business,” he said “They ruin the victim’s family’s lives and also ruin their own.”

Bell’s girlfriend shrieked with horror and was escorted out of the courtroom after the verdict was read.

“No, no no!” she shouted.

Lillie Fields, Camilo’s mother, said she was pleased to hear the jury’s decision and thanked God for it.

“What my son said became a reality today,” she said.

A hearing for Bell’s sentencing has not been scheduled.