BG man enters guilty plea in hospital shooting

Published 3:41 pm Monday, November 13, 2023

By Justin Story, Bowling Green Daily News

BOWLING GREEN — A plea agreement has been reached in a case involving a Bowling Green man who was arrested following a 2020 incident in which two Medical Center employees were struck by gunfire.

Jeffrey Fields, 45, pleaded guilty but mentally ill on Monday in Warren Circuit Court to charges of second-degree assault and first-degree wanton endangerment.

Fields, who is represented by attorney Steve Romines, entered an Alford plea in which he denied wrongdoing but acknowledged there was enough evidence for a jury to find him guilty of the assault and wanton endangerment counts.

The criminal charges stemmed from a March 18, 2020, incident at the hospital, where Fields was brought after emergency personnel found him unclothed on Cemetery Road.

Appearing over video on Monday, Romines said that Fields was experiencing a mental health episode related to a bipolar diagnosis when he was taken to the hospital.

“(Hospital personnel) were attempting to catheterize him, Mr. Fields resisted, a firearm went off and two people were shot,” Romines said when asked by Warren Circuit Judge J.B. Hines to summarize the facts that would support assault and wanton endangerment charges.

According to court records, Fields stripped off his hospital gown and threatened employees after picking up a stool, and then reached for a gun belonging to one of the security guards attempting to restrain him.

Emily Roderick, a certified medical assistant at The Medical Center, was struck in the leg by a gunshot as she was preparing a bed for Fields, court records show.

Billy Pigue, a security guard employed at the hospital, was struck in the arm by the same round.

Fields was charged originally with first-degree assault, three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment, two counts of menacing and resisting arrest.

The plea agreement reached in the case reduced the assault count to second-degree assault and dismissed the remaining charges except for a single count of first-degree wanton endangerment.

The Warren County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office is recommending that Fields be placed on probation for three years, pay restitution and comply with a mental health treatment plan.

Answering questions from Hines, Fields confirmed the facts set forth by Romines and acknowledged that he wished to plead guilty.

He will return to court Dec. 12 for sentencing.

Prosecutors are also recommending the dismissal of an unrelated criminal case brought against Fields in 2019.

Fields is a defendant in a civil lawsuit brought against him by Roderick and Pigue that is pending in Warren Circuit Court and charges him with assault and battery and dangerous conduct.