February 22, 2012
Louisa Commonwealth’s Attorney Rusty McGuire announced Wednesday that 36-year-old Brandon Fields has been found guilty of failing to stop at the scene of an accident in February 1994.
The evidence showed on Feb. 18, 1994 James Banks, Jr. died after sustaining injury to his head on Route 22 in Louisa. He was buried in an unmarked grave and the family spent 17 years not knowing who hit their father or what happened on that night.
In 2010, Trooper Richard Shively of the Virginia State Police picked up a cold case with intention of solving the case. He developed a moving press release with his communication department and a viewer saw the news story. The citizen called in a tip that directed the Trooper to Brandon Fields, a Louisa resident.
Trooper Shively ultimately interviewed Fields and learned that he was on his way to buy some speakers on Feb. 18, 1994 on Route 22. When he came over a hill on 22 there was something in the road and Fields attempted to avoid it but was unsuccessful. Fields returned to the scene and never spoke of what he saw again until he was interviewed by Trooper Shively almost 17 years later.
Fields showed substantial remorse in court when he said, “Above all else I apologize to the Banks family. I know the missed holidays and joy cannot be reclaimed.”
In addition to his year in jail, Fields paid the $6,000 in funeral expenses, ordered and paid for a tombstone to be installed at Banks’ grave and says he will place flowers on the grave on the anniversary of Banks’ death for the rest of his life.
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