Man sentenced to 80 years in prison for the 2012 murder at Tyler night club

Man sentenced to 80 years in prison for the 2012 murder at Tyler night club

UPDATE: Marquel Scott, 33, receives an 80 year sentence for the murder of 26-year-old Keeston Fields outside the Hyena night club.

Scott will be eligible for parole in 30 years.


TYLER (KYTX) -- The punishment phase of 33-year-old Marquel Scott's murder trial began Wednesday. On Tuesday Scott was found guilty of murdering 26-year-old Keeston Fields outside the Hyena Club in November of 2012.

In his opening statement, defense attorney Brett Harrison thanked the jury for the verdict they came to and asked them to consider evidence during the punishment phase of the trial carefully.

"Obviously you have found against him on the issue of self defense. Marquel told you what he believed and you disagreed," Harrison said. "And that's what this system is all about."

The prosecution's first witness was a crime scene investigator for the Tyler police department who testified to having matched finger print records spanning Scott's criminal history.

Assistant District Attorney Jeff Wood then introduced evidence of Scott's past convictions of marijuana possession and failure to identify himself to a police officer.

Harrison noted that Scott has never been sentenced to time in a state prison, though he has served a relatively small amount of time in the Smith County jail aside from his current term of confinement.

Scott's probation officer, Lee Chastain, was the next witness. She testified to Scott's existing probation conditions which included not breaking any law in Texas, not having or using illegal drugs and not having or using a gun.

Chastain also testified that Scott had passed all 13 drug tests administered by the probation department prior to his arrest.

The next witness was Rodicia Callier. Callier said she dated Scott "for years," lived with him and had two children with him.

"I think it was unhealthy for both of us," she said.

Callier testified that she had a fight with Scott during her second pregnancy over whether she would keep the baby. She said she believed Scott asked some of his relatives to "jump on" her in retaliation for refusing to get an abortion.

"He said he was going to kick my [expletive] and kill my baby," Callier said.

"Were you both young and hot headed?" defense attorney Buck Files asked.

"Yes," Callier said.

Callier testified that she never had any knowledge of Scott being involved in gang activities while they were together. She described him as "quiet" and "meek."

Assistant District Attorney Bryan Jiral asked what Scott's favorite color was.

"Blue," Callier said.

"Did you ever know him to wear red?" Jiral asked, referring to the color of Scott's alleged rival gang.

"No," she said.

The next witness was Jessie Jeffery, Keeston Fields' mother. Jeffery said Fields had one brother and two sisters.

Wood asked what Fields was like growing up.

"He was a good kid," Jeffery said. "Family stuff was all he did. He had a lot of friends but his family was his best friends."

"How has losing Keeston impacted you as a mother?" Wood asked.

"I don't rest. I have to have medicine for me to sleep every night," she said. "I keep re-living what happened to Keeston. So every night that I live alone I'm not happy. I know Keeston's in a better place but I don't know what to do."

The defense's first witness was Scott's father, Billy Scott.

"If you were to describe Marquel, what would you say?" Harrison asked.

"He's easy-going and kind of laid back," Billy said. "He's a good father to his kids. He's always been obedient to me. Still is."

Billy said he was not aware that Marquel was on felony probation prior to the murder case.

"Did he have any gang affiliation I your knowledge?" Harrison asked.

"No," Billy said.

On cross-examination, Wood asked why Billy did not know Marquel was on probation.

"Did he keep that from you?" Wood asked.

"Yes," Billy said.

"Would it be fair to say he might have kept other things from you?" Wood asked.

"Yes," Billy said.

"Have you ever lost a child, Mr. Scott?" Wood asked.

"No," he said.

The defense's next witness was LaShonda Turner, Marquel's sister. She said Marquel was "happy, fun and quiet."

"He spent most of his time with the family," she said. "Any time we need anything, he's there."

Several other family members and friends took the stand after that to testify in support of Marquel's character.

The defense rested around 2:30pm.

During closing arguments, Wood began by telling the jury he believes Scott deserves life in prison for murdering Fields.

"Don't feel sorry for him," Wood said. "He chose to take this gun, walk into a club, knowing he wasn't allowed to have this gun, knowing he wasn't allowed to walk into the club and knowing he wasn't allowed to have ammunition, he chose."

Harrison told the jury they held great responsibility.

"You have the power to decide what happens with the rest of Marquel Scott's life," he said. "That may be the most important decision you ever make."

He reminded the jury that, despite their rejection of Scott's self defense claim, they would still need to consider all the circumstances of the murder.

"You must consider what was going on in Marquel Scott's mind. What he felt. What he perceived," Harrison said.

Harrison said he did not believe Scott's case was one of a cold blooded killer.

"I hope you won't forget the testimony of Marquel Scott," Harrison said.

Wood reminded the jury of the three major parole violations (possession of a firearm, possession of ammunition and presence at a bar) that were necessary to make the murder possible.

He also reminded then that Scott dropped the gun in a creek after the murder and then fled to Dallas.

The jury began deliberating at 3:15pm.


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