A win for the good guys! I predicted several weeks ago that the grand jury would slap Mike Herring in the face by refusing to indict this kid. This makes my day!
By JIM NOLAN
TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITER
An ice cream parlor manager who pursued and fatally shot a man who robbed his store Sept. 6 will not stand trial.
A Richmond grand jury today declined to indict 21-year-old David Fielding in connection with the shooting of Jerome Davis at the Baskin Robbins ice cream store in the 6900 block of Forest Hill Avenue in South Richmond.
Fielding, 21, a VCU art student, fired 11 shots at Davis, who had entered the store waving a weapon and demanded money. Two of the shots struck Davis, 43, one of them in the back, fatally wounding him.
The Richmond Commonwealth's Attorney's office this morning presented evidence for a charge of reckless discharge of a firearm. The five-member panel could have indicted Fielding on either a felony or misdemeanor category of the offense, but instead returned no true bill. At least four grand jurors most vote for indictment for a true bill to be returned.
Commonwealth's Attorney Michael N. Herring said he thought the panel might indict on the misdemeanor reckless discharge offense, which entails discharging a weapon in a public place.
But Herring said he believed the panel must have considered the position Fielding was in when he fired upon Davis, even as the suspect fled with less than $100 in cash and coins.
"I think they believed Mr. Fielding's state of mind was such that he reasonably feared his life would be in danger," Herring said.
"When the adrenaline is pumping and you're scared, you weigh fear differently than when you're behind your desk," he added.
Still, the prosecutor said he had no regrets about presenting the case.
"This is an indication that the system works," he said.