For jurors it came down to one question — who would they believe, a Pauls Valley defendant claiming he had nothing to do with a 2007 shooting or witnesses on the other side who said they saw a smoking gun in his hand.

In the end it was the smoking gun theory that won out as jurors found Derick Fields, 26, guilty of firing the two shots that injured Jericho Watts during a confrontation in an empty lot in the 300 block of North Hickory.

The verdict came despite Fields’ strong denial of any wrongdoing during his testimony in the trial this week in a Garvin County District courtroom.

In fact, Fields even claimed he began to retreat moments before the shooting when he saw Watts carrying a knife.

An eight-woman, four-man jury instead found Fields guilty of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon with the intent to injure when they sided with state witnesses who during the week testified to seeing a gun in Fields’ hand and smoke coming from him when the shots were fired in the early morning hours of Oct. 21, 2007.

Leading to the verdict were three days of courtroom testimony in the case and closing arguments by opposing attorneys, which included Garvin County Assistant District Attorney Kristin Jarman telling jurors it was Fields who was “wanting to leave his mark” when he shot Watts.

“The motive is he wanted to make a name for himself,” Jarman said.

She also defended the testimony of witnesses who claimed to see Fields fire the gun.

“What they remember is the smoke, whose hand the gun was in and the defendant shooting Rico Watts,” she said.

“They remember the general idea. Rickey shot Rico. The defense wants you to believe it was all a conspiracy against the defendant.”

The argument was much different from Fields’ defense attorney, Robert Rennie Jr. of Pauls Valley, who told jurors the differences in testimony from those state witnesses shouldn’t be ignored.

“I want you to think about the discrepancies and the changing of testimony; the different stores of four people” Rennie said.

“The pieces don’t fit in this puzzle. Some of the state’s witnesses were lying in the testimony.”

Rennie also reminded jurors the state and not the defense had all the burden to prove their case.

“The state has the burden to prove that Rickey fired those shots,” he said.

“I don’t have to prove that Rickey didn’t do this.”

Along with the guilty verdict jurors also recommended a nine-month sentence for Fields in county jail.

District Judge Candace Blalock gave the order for a pre-sentence investigation as Fields’ formal sentencing is now set for April 6.

Even with Fields’ conviction the case is far from over as a formal charge is still pending against his cousin, Brandon Jackson of Oklahoma City.

Jackson, 28, continues to face an accessory charge on the accusation he drove Fields away from the scene after the shooting.

A formal arraignment on Jackson’s charge of accessory to a shooting with intent to injure is scheduled for Feb. 13.

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