COLLINSVILLE – David Fields, who walked out of St. Clair County jail as a free man after jurors acquitted him of murder last year, lost his freedom on July 31.
Collinsville police detained him as a former felon in possession of a weapon, although they didn’t catch him with a weapon.
They held him accountable for a rifle that a local man found in his garage.
Fields, age 23, stood trial in St. Clair County court twice last year for the murder of Carl Silas in 2016.
The first trial ended in mistrial, the second in acquittal.
On July 31, according to police reports, Fields and two men he hardly knew got into a car with two women they didn’t know.
The driver headed for Collinsville to check a tire at Auto Zone. The group broke up there and the men started walking.
Around 6:15 p.m., a person at a nearby business saw a man trying to enter an Acura on the parking lot.
She saw two men with him.
The man gave up on the Acura and tried other cars and office doors. The owner of the Acura set off her alarm and called police.
A dispatcher sent officer Sam Luna, and told him on the way that the men were seen messing with a Jeep behind Pak Mail on Beltline Road.
Luna wrote in his report that he observed three males crossing Beltline Road in white tank tops, “several of them with bags across their shoulders.”
He approached the intersection of Royal Drive and Victory, positioned his vehicle to the east, and exited the vehicle. He ordered them to come to the vehicle and speak with him.
One complied, and two ignored him and kept walking.
He heard by radio that they ran through back yards. He identified the one he stopped as Hassan Sampson, and detected signs of intoxication.
He handcuffed Sampson, patted him down, and found no weapon.
He told Sampson he was detained for investigation of burglary.
On the parking lot of FCB Bank, officer Tim Severine caught a man who identified himself as Kane Jaffee.
Luna contacted two nail shop witnesses and asked them to identify the pair.
An officer brought them to the scene and they positively identified Sampson as the one who tried door handles.
They said he was the only one trying to enter vehicles.
They identified Kane Jaffee as the second man and asked where the third man was. They said he wore a backpack.
Police took Sampson and Kane Jaffee to city holding cells.
Meanwhile, a caller told police a man came out of hiding and ran toward Kohl’s department store.
Officer Steven Pyrdeck drove there and described the suspect to a juvenile in a car on the parking lot.
He asked the juvenile if he saw the person, and the juvenile said no.
Pyrdeck wrote in his report that he “entered Kohl’s and was advised by a detective from Caseyville PD that a black male approached him and asked to use a phone, that this subject was out of breath, possibly from running.”
The detective told Perdyck he declined to let the man use the phone, and that the man left and headed toward Schnucks.
Pyrdeck started that way but took a message that the mother of the juvenile called police and said the subject was still in Kohl’s.
Pyrdeck returned to Kohl’s, and “approached the rear of the store where I saw a person matching the description of my suspect.”
He wrote that the subject wore a gray fleece jacket with a security device on it.
He asked for a name and the subject said David Fields.
He handcuffed Fields, searched for weapons and contraband, and found none.
He took Fields to the station and secured him in a cell.
Luna asked Fields where he lived, and Fields gave his mother’s address.
Luna found a discrepancy between it and the address on his registration as a violent offender.
Fields served a sentence for domestic battery prior to turning 20.
Luna held him pending application for charges of violating the registration law.
Police identified Kane Jaffee as Tyress Wilson, and turned him over to St. Clair County deputies on an active warrant.
Around noon on Aug. 1, officer Scott Pritchett met a man who had called police.
He told Pritchett he went to the rear of his garage to place something in the recycling bin and observed a black backpack at the bottom.
He told Pritchett he spoke to officers the previous night about individuals evading officers and he believed it might belong to them.
Pritchett photographed it and removed it.
He opened it and found a pistol gripped Century Arms International 7.62 rifle.
He observed a round in the chamber and 28 in the magazine.
Luna filed a report stating he reviewed footage from his car camera and noticed Fields wore a black backpack.
“I also noted that after reviewing the video from my in car camera that there appeared to be a bulge of some type of object in the lower right hand corner of the backpack as I saw Fields walk away from me,” Luna wrote.
On Aug. 2, around 9:30 a.m., Sampson waived his Miranda rights.
He told detectives Talbot and Cerna he and the others were walking in Belleville and two females stopped and asked them about getting some weed.
Sampson said they had to go to Collinsville to check a tire at Auto Zone. He said the women started tripping and the men started walking.
He said they didn’t hang out in Collinsville or know anyone there. He said Fields carried a black backpack and Wilson a green one.
He said he walked up to Luna because he didn’t have any warrants.
Cerna asked if he knew what was in the black backpack Fields carried.
Cerna wrote that Sampson repeated the question, paused, began mumbling, and said it was something long and he thought it was a guitar.
He wrote that he confronted Sampson about knowing it was an AK47, and Sampson denied knowing it.
He wrote that Sampson put his head on the table and said he needed to smoke.
Cerna took him outside and let him smoke two.
“I told Sampson that we could not promise him anything if he decides to tell us the truth about the AK47 David Fields had on him,” Cerna wrote.
He wrote that Sampson said he didn’t know.
“Sampson stated that he has never seen the AK47, but that David would talk about the AK47 telling them he carries it,” he wrote.
Sampson said he didn’t know where Fields lived and Wilson was homeless.
He said Wilson stole a bottle of vodka at Schnucks.
Cerna drove to Schnucks and reviewed video showing Sampson and Wilson entered at 6:27 p.m.
“Noticed that David Fields stayed outside sitting on a bench,” Cerna wrote.
He watched Wilson grab a bottle and Sampson place chicken wings in a container.
Cerna returned to the station and joined Talbot for an interview with Fields.
“I was aware that Fields had been arrested by the East St. Louis police department at the request of CPD regarding this case,” Talbot wrote.
He wrote that Fields changed his hairstyle since his arrest.
He wrote that he learned from Fields that he earned a general equivalency diploma and a forklift operator’s license. He wrote that Fields denied using drugs and stated he does use alcohol.
He read Miranda rights to Fields, who said he understood and wouldn’t sign.
Fields said he didn’t know the other two men or know them well.
Cerna asked what happened at Auto Zone.
“Fields seemingly ignored the question asked what he was being charged with,” Talbot wrote.
Cerna told him he would be charged with possession of a weapon by a felon.
Cerna told him he was on camera wearing a black backpack, and Fields denied having a backpack.
Talbot wrote that Fields continued denying knowledge or possession of the weapon, and eventually stated he needed a lawyer.
On Aug. 5, assistant Madison County state’s attorney Chard Loughrey charged Fields with possession of a weapon by a felon.
Associate judge Janet Heflin set bond at $100,000.
County jail booked him on Aug. 6, at 2:20 a.m.
He asked for a public defender later that day, and Heflin granted it. She set a preliminary hearing before Circuit Judge Kyle Napp on Friday, Aug. 16.