CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CBS4) – A lawmaker testified on Tuesday trying to keep her son’s killer from getting a new trial.
Rhonda Fields is now a Colorado state senator. Her son Javad Marshall-Fields and his fiancé Vivian Wolfe were murdered in 2005. Sir Mario Owens was convicted of the murders and sentenced to death, but he’s fighting to get a new trial.
It was June of 2008 when a jury returned its verdict. Owens was found guilty and sentenced to death.
Families of the victims say they do not want to be re-traumatized with the potential of two new trials.
A judge will now determine if there was misconduct by one member of the jury from more than 12 years ago.
A juror in the original murder trial for Owens is accused by defense attorneys of lying on juror questionnaires and knowing family members of both the suspect and victim in the cases.
Fields was killed days before he was scheduled to testify as a witness in Owens’ initial murder case.
The legal situation brought many people back into the courtroom this week to testify.
“It is very troublesome … it just shakes the foundation of my soul and my heart that I’m still having to deal with this scenario that our criminal justice system allows for these arguments to come forward,” Fields said. “So I have to learn the art of patience and diplomacy and see how it all plays out.”
The judge will determine if more testimony is needed or if a decision can be made with motions.
If the judge finds that trial was affected he could order the case to be heard again by a new jury. The juror whose conduct is in question failed to appear at a previous court session and a warrant has been issued for her arrest.
Along with Owens, Robert Ray was convicted in the murder of the couple. He is also on death row along with Nathan Dunlap, convicted in the 1993 Chuck E. Cheese murder case, but has received a temporary reprieve from Gov. John Hickenlooper.