Last week 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.
In June of 2018, an arrest warrant was issued for Lacie Fields, 23, of Portland in connection with the murder of Crossett’s Jeremiah Bynum who was killed in December 2016.
Dillon Melanson, 24, pled guilty in Judge Sam Pope’s court for the murder of Bynum just weeks before Fields was arrested.
According to the criminal information document filed in the Ashley County courthouse, Fields was charged with two felonies, abuse of a corpse and hindering apprehension or prosecution.
The document on file stated, “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 imprisonment for not less than three years nor more than 10 years and by a fine not exceeding $10,000.
Bynum was reported missing in December of 2016, but his body wasn’t found until Jan. 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 of 2018, Judge Sam Pope entered an order setting Fields for trial.
Fields waived her right to jury trial and on Wednesday was found guilty of both charges, abuse of a corpse and hindering prosecution.
According to the sentencing order signed by Circuit Judge Sam Pope, Fields was found guilty by the court and sentenced to 144 months in the Arkansas Department of Corrections for hindering the prosecution and she received a 72 month suspended sentence for abuse of corpse, which will run consecutively to the first charge.
The sentencing order further states that Fields will not be eligible to have her record sealed.