A Bartholomew Superior Court 1 jury found a female caretaker accused of beating a disabled man guilty of two felony battery charges.
After two hours of deliberation Wednesday, a jury found Kimberly Jo Fields, 51, guilty of battery by means of a deadly weapon and battery against a disabled person.
The former Crothersville resident faces up to 12 years in prison on the two convictions and will be sentenced by Judge Jim Worton at 11 a.m. Sept. 28.
At the conclusion of the two-day trial, Fields showed no emotion as the verdict was read by the judge.
Christine Marine, the daughter of victim Loren P. Jacobs Jr., clasped her face with her hands as a flood of emotions went through her mind, she said.
Marine said she had promised her father, who died three months after he was beaten in his Candlelight Village home, that she would see the case against Fields through.
“I did, and we won,” Marine said, “It’s the best day I’ve ever had.”
Fields was convicted of repeatedly striking the 66-year-old Jacobs — a Vietnam War veteran who was paralyzed on the left side of his body from a 1997 stroke — with a 5-foot wooden board on March 3, 2015.
Deputy prosecutor Greg Long did not attempt to connect Jacobs’ injuries to his death. However, the victim’s son — Loren “Skip” Scroggins — said his father “was never the same” after the attack.
In the three months between his beating and his death, Jacobs had to be hospitalized four times for kidney and respiratory problems, Marine said.
“In our minds, there’s no doubt there’s a connection (between his injuries and his death),” said Scroggins.
Long said Fields was angry with Jacobs after discovering he was planning to sell his home to move in with a cousin in Greenfield, which would have left her no place to stay.
“She came home drunk and angry before taking it out on Loren,” Long said in his closing statements.
The jury rejected Fields’ claims of self-defense, which included her assertion that it was the disabled man who became the aggressor after she rejected his romantic advances.
She claimed the 5-foot tall, 140-pound Jacobs first pushed her, causing her to fall over a table, before breaking her nose, public defender Aaron Edwards told the jurors.
“If he had done all that, why did she tell police that nothing happened when they questioned her?” Long asked the jury.
While photographs showed Fields did have injuries that Edwards argued were inflicted by Jacobs, a police report from a separate incident indicated the woman hurt herself during an inebriated fall in a friend’s garage several hours before the attack.
In addition, Long said photographs of several wounds on Jacobs’ back appeared to contradict Fields’ claim that she only struck Jacobs in self-defense.
After being convicted of two Level 5 felonies Wednesday, Kimberly Jo Fields could receive anywhere from two to 12 years in prison, as well as be ordered to pay up to $20,000 in fines.
Fields has other pending charges in Bartholomew County, said Bartholomew County deputy prosecutor Greg Long.
After Fields was released from jail after being arrested for the March 3, 2015 attack on Loren P. Jacobs, Jr., she did not show up for her initial court hearing and was taken into custody again, court records state.
Three days after posting a $1,500 cash bond on Sept. 22, 2015, Fields was arrested again for theft, operating a motor vehicle and causing a traffic accident, court records state. The following day, additional charges of theft, credit card fraud and criminal trespassing were filed against her, according to court records.