Man charged with murder in Darke County deadly shooting; victim ID’d

A 58-year-old man is charged with murder in the deadly shooting Thursday evening of a 62-year-old housemate.

The Darke County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call around 7:30 p.m. that a person had been shot outside a home in the 5000 block of Smith Road in Liberty Twp. in western Darke County, according to a release from Sheriff Mark Whittaker.

“An adult male was found outside near a back door with what appeared to be a gunshot wound. This subject was pronounced deceased at the scene,” Whittaker said.

The victim was identified as William R. Duncan on Friday afternoon by the Darke County Coroner’s Office.

Deputies took William L. Fields into custody Thursday evening. He was charged Friday with murder in Darke County Common Pleas Court.

He and Duncan both lived at the home, the sheriff said.

A neighbor said Fields called him following the shooting, and said “I just shot Dunc in the head,” according to an affidavit.

Fields also called 911, which was routed to the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department in Richmond, Indiana. He told the dispatcher: “I just shot this (expletive) trying to get into my house. He’s dead.” The caller identified himself as William Fields, the affidavit stated.

Deputies reportedly found a loaded .44 Magnum revolver on a bench seat to the left of the entry door to the house.

Duncan’s girlfriend said they lived at the home and had slept inside the night before the shooting. She said Duncan was trying to get into the house to retrieve blankets so they could sleep in their camper parked in the backyard.

“The witness stated she heard one gunshot and found her boyfriend deceased on the ground (near) the back door,” the affidavit read.

Fields is held on a $150,000 bond in the Darke County Jail.

Credit: Darke County Jail

Credit: Darke County Jail

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