Judge Confirms Former Guard Be Sentenced To Die

11-9-05 - A federal judge confirmed a jury's recommendation that a former state prison guard be sentenced to death for killing a Texas couple more than two years ago.

U.S. District Judge Ronald A. White also sentenced Edward Leon Fields Jr. to 405 years in prison each on two counts of using a firearm and one count of robbery by firearm, as well as 84 years for burglarizing an automobile. All terms will be served consecutively.

The panel convicted Fields, 38, in July of the 2003 deaths of Charles and Shirley Chick.

Fields wore a camouflage outfit constructed of hundreds of loose-fiber brown strings to sneak up on the Hurst, Texas, couple undetected and watch them at their LeFlore County campsite.

Fields approached them with a .22-caliber rifle and shot them as they sat at a picnic table.

"Words fail to adequately depict the horror the defendant brought in graphic, premeditated ... ghillie-suited form to two wonderful people who were minding their own business and had done nothing to him," U.S. Attorney Sheldon Sperling said Tuesday.

Fields worked for four years in the 1990s for the state Department of Corrections. He had no previous criminal record.