Samuel Fields Murders Bess Horton In Kentucky

Samuel Fields was sentenced to death by the State of Kentucky for the murder of Bess Horton

According to court documents Samuel Fields would break into the home of Bess Horton who would be fatally stabbed and had her throat slit. Fields would be arrested at the crime scene

Samuel Fields would be convicted and sentenced to death

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Samuel Fields is incarcerated at Kentucky State Penitentiary

Samuel Fields Case

Appellant’s girlfriend, Minnie Burton, acted as a chauffeur for Mrs. Horton and ran errands for her when requested.   In exchange, Horton allowed Burton to live rent-free in a duplex apartment located near Horton’s residence.   There was evidence that Horton decided to evict Burton and that she cut off the water to Burton’s apartment, forcing her to spend nights at the homes of friends.   There was also evidence that Burton had remarked that “someone ought to kill (Horton),” and that she had told a friend, Phyllis Berry, that Horton kept a metal box containing $4,000.00 in her bedroom.   This latter information became significant when another witness testified that Berry had confessed to him that she and Minnie Burton went to Horton’s residence to steal the metal box and that she (Berry) killed Horton when Horton awoke during the burglary and recognized Burton.

From about noon on August 18, 1993 until after midnight, Appellant (Samuel Fields), Minnie Burton, Phyllis Berry, and others drove around Carter and Boyd Counties, consuming large amounts of alcohol, mostly beer.   The group made two separate trips to Ashland to purchase several cases of beer.   They stopped at the residence of Phyllis Berry’s brother in Boyd County, where Appellant drank some whiskey and ingested some “horse tranquilizers.”   Appellant and Burton finally returned to Grayson with the intention of spending the night at a residence occupied by Appellant’s mother and brother.   After entering the residence, Appellant continued drinking beer and began quarreling with Burton.   When he began throwing food, furniture and other objects, including knives, around the kitchen, Burton fled the residence and told Appellant she was going to her apartment.   After destroying some more personal property and threatening his brother with a knife, Appellant broke the glass on the kitchen door with his fist, causing lacerations of his right arm.   After retrieving several more cans of beer, Appellant proceeded to Burton’s apartment.

Burton had been unable to gain entry to her apartment, because Elmer Prichard, the other resident of the duplex, had locked the doors.   Appellant (Samuel Fields) arrived and told Burton that he had killed his brother (which he had not), and asked her if she would dispose of the alleged murder weapon.   He gave Burton a knife, which she threw into some nearby bushes.   Appellant then went into “a frenzy” and attempted to gain entry to Burton’s apartment by ripping the screens off of the windows.   Burton again fled.   Elmer Prichard called the police and Officers Lindeman and Green responded to the call.   Appellant (Samuel Fields) testified that he then proceeded to the Horton residence looking for Burton, because Burton had told him of her intention to “rob” Horton.   He sat on Horton’s porch for a while drinking beer, then entered Horton’s bedroom through an open window.   He turned on his cigarette lighter for illumination and saw that the room had been ransacked.   However, he did not notice Horton’s body on the bed.   He then began pocketing whatever he could find, including jewelry and a knife.

While investigating the attempted burglary of the duplex, Officers Lindeman and Green noticed a light inside the Horton residence.   They found the garage door open, but the inside door locked.   Lindeman then discovered the open window and climbed inside, where he found both Horton’s body and Appellant.   Some jewelry, a knife, and two razor blades either fell from or were removed from Appellant’s pockets.   According to Lindeman, he offered to read Appellant his Miranda rights, but Appellant was able to recite them verbatim.   Appellant then stated:  “Kill me, Ron. Kill me.   I stabbed her and I’m into it big this time.”   Lindeman testified that when he asked Appellant why he had killed Horton, Appellant replied:  “I don’t know.   Kill me Ron. I’m going to prison for the rest of my life this time.”   Appellant denied uttering these statements.   His version was that Lindeman jumped on him and knocked him to the floor, then put a gun to his head, accused him of killing Horton, and threatened to shoot him.

Appellant (Samuel Fields) was arrested and transported by Kentucky State Trooper Roy Wolfe to King’s Daughters’ Medical Center in Ashland for treatment of injuries to his right arm.   Wolfe testified that in his opinion, Appellant was intoxicated.

After Appellant was removed from the crime scene, Officer Lindeman and an unidentified cameraman staged a lengthy and dramatic videotaped reenactment of the investigation leading up to Appellant’s arrest and alleged confession.   The cameraman filmed Lindeman as he retraced his route from the duplex apartment to the Horton residence, to the open garage door, then through the open window and into the bedroom.   As he led the cameraman through the reenactment, Lindeman narrated where he was, what he was doing, and why.   He also described Officer Green’s locations and activities.   After entering the bedroom during the reenactment, Lindeman used his flashlight to demonstrate how he drew his gun on Appellant.   He narrated how the jewelry, the knife, and the razor blades had either fallen or been removed from Appellant’s pockets, and repeated verbatim Appellant’s confession to murdering Mrs. Horton.   The camera was then panned around the bedroom to the jewelry, the knife, and the razor blades, then to some blood on the carpet which Lindeman described as Appellant’s blood.   Finally, the camera was focused on the bed where Mrs. Horton’s body still lay, her throat slashed and the knife still buried in her right temple.   The camera continued to focus on Mrs. Horton’s wounds for approximately forty seconds until the video was concluded.

Appellant was treated in the emergency room at King’s Daughters’ Medical Center for some minor lacerations of his right arm.   No stitches were required.   Appellant was examined by Jason Dobson, an emergency medical technician (EMT), who opined at trial that there was too much blood on Appellant’s arms and clothing to have been caused by such minor injuries.   Dobson also testified that he asked Appellant how he got the blood on him and that Appellant responded:  “You stupid s.o.b., if you had just killed some lady, you would be covered with blood, too.”   The blood on Appellant’s arm was washed off at the hospital.   Subsequent blood typing and DNA testing revealed that none of the blood found on Appellant’s clothing was traceable to Mrs. Horton and none of the blood found on Horton’s bed was traceable to Appellant.

https://caselaw.findlaw.com/court/ky-supreme-court/1172766.html

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