It is difficult to say how any father would react when coming face to face with his son’s killer. Newly released video from a July 14 court hearing shows a father attacking Lindy Lamont Jones, a man who pleaded guilty to the murder of Willie Antoine Fields.
The video, viewed almost 6,000,000 times in less than two weeks, shows Fields’ father running up to his son’s killer in a South Carolina courtroom — hitting Jones from behind and then following him down to the floor.
When the handcuffed killer was raised to his feet by security, he threatened the father, “I’m going to beat your ass, boy! I’m going to beat your ass, boy!” before being dragged away.
The Times and Democrat reported that Fields was 18 years old when killed by Jones. The killer was 22 at the time.
The outlet also reported that Fields’ father, Willie Clay Fields, now faces one count of contempt of court and one count of third-degree assault and battery.
Willie Clay Fields’ assault of Lindy Jones took place as his wife, Angela Fields, was speaking to Circuit Judge Roger Young about the profound impact the loss of her son has had on her.
Fields was standing next to his wife as she spoke. Both were several feet behind Jones, who was standing near a deputy with his head down, refusing to make eye contact.
Stirred by his wife’s testimony, suddenly Fields ran up to Jones and punched him in the head.
Fields then tackled Jones to the floor and punched his son’s killer several times before security separated the two men.
Times and Democrat reported that Fields was temporarily restrained, then escorted back into the courtroom and told by the judge that he would be held in contempt of court and should retain counsel before his July 25 sentencing.
Since that time, Justin Bamberg has volunteered to represent Fields pro bono, saying the hearing “became too much emotionally” for his “heartbroken” client.
“No father should have to bury his innocent son,” Bamberg added, according to the Times and Democrat. “Mr. Fields is not a criminal. He is a victim of the senseless violence that occurs far too often in our communities. The criminal justice system exists so that justice may be done, and justice in this case demands setting Mr. Fields free from the burdens of these charges so that he may continue mourning in peace with his family. We are asking that the system #FreePops.”
Bamberg, who is also a state representative, said Fields and his family are “extremely apologetic to the court for [the] outburst.”