Closing arguments in Springfield murder case to begin

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Closing arguments in Springfield murder case to begin

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Springfield prosecutor Andrew Wilson and Tacota Fields look on as video evidence is played in court. Michael Tyler II/Staff

Closing arguments in the trial of a man accused of fatally shooting another Springfield man are expected to begin Thursday.

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 has said.

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.

Fields was arrested in December 2015, more than two years after Mollett’s death. The case had gone cold after police failed to make any arrests, Wilson said in court.

One of the witnesses on the stand Wednesday was the ex-girlfriend of Fields, who investigators have said cracked open the case almost two years later when she told police she was with Fields the night he allegedly fired the fatal shots, according to court records.

During cross-examination of the ex-girlfriend, Fields’ defense attorney, Mark Wieczorek, alleged she was a liar and wanted revenge against Fields.

The witness admitted her relationship with Fields was “toxic” during her testimony.

In opening arguments of the trial Monday, Wilson alleged a fight between cliques preceded the shooting.

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 during the trial that no one saw Fields pull the trigger.

As part of the trial, 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.

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