A Portland woman who was charged with abuse of corpse and hindering apprehension or prosecution in connection with the murder of a Crossett man was found guilty and sentenced in Ashley County Circuit Court last week.
Judge Sam Pope sentenced Lacie Fields, 23, to 144 months in the Arkansas Department of Corrections for the hindering prosecution charge and 72 months for abuse of corpse, which will run consecutively to the first charge. Pope suspended the abuse of a corpse sentence.
The warrant for Fields’ arrest was issued in June 2018. She was charged in connection with the murder of Crossett man, Jeremiah Bynum, who was killed in December 2016.
Dillon Melanson, 24, had pleaded guilty for Bynum’s murder just weeks before Fields was arrested.
According to the criminal information document filed in the Ashley County Courthouse, “on or about January 2017, with the purpose to hinder the apprehension, prosecution, conviction or punishment of Dillon Melanson for the offense of capital murder, Fields did purposely lie or attempt to provide erroneous information she knew to be false to a certified law enforcement officer that would distract from the true course of the investigation.”
The offense is punishable as a Class B felony by imprisonment for not less than five years nor more than twenty years or by a fine not exceeding $15,000.
The document also stated that Fields “did knowingly mistreat or conceal the corpse of Jeremiah Bynum in a manner offensive to a person of reasonable sensibiliites.”
Abuse of a Corpse is an offense punishable as a Class C felony by imprisonement for not less than three years nor more than ten years and by a fine not exceeding $10,000.
Bynum was reported missing in December 2016, but his body wasn’t found until January 26, 2017.
According to documents filed in Melanson’s criminal file, when Crossett Police Department investigators located the body, they interviewed Melanson, who confessed to “shooting Jeremiah and to other facts and circumstances that would only be known to a person present during the commission of the crime.”
Melanson entered a guilty plea on June 28, 2018 and was sentenced to life in prison without parole for capital murder, a class Y felony, and an additional 120 months in the Arkansas Department of Corrections for the class C felony, abuse of a corpse.
Melanson was given 514 days jail credit and ordered to have no contact with the victim’s family.
After Melason entered his plea, Fields was arrested and taken to Ashley County Sheriff’s Department.
In November 2018, Pope entered an order setting Fields for trial.
Fields waived her right to jury trial and was found guilty of both charges, abuse of a corpse and hindering prosecution, April 24.
Pope’s sentencing order states that Fields will not be eligible to have her record sealed.