Preliminary hearing set for Clanton murder suspect

Published 2:26 pm Wednesday, December 9, 2015

A preliminary hearing has been set for a Clanton man facing murder, attempted murder and assault charges.

Robert Jonathan Fields Jr., 34, of Clanton, is scheduled to appear before Chilton County District Judge Rhonda Hardesty Dec. 22 at 9 a.m. for a preliminary hearing at the Chilton County Courthouse.

Fields was charged in October after he allegedly shot and killed his 48-year-old sister, Rachel Pedro, and critically injured Pedro’s 24-year-old son, Bamidele Pedro, who suffered from multiple gunshot wounds.

Court records indicate the assault first-degree charge is due to Fields “causing serious physical injury to Bamidele Pedro by means of a deadly weapon, dangerous instrument, a .380 high point hand gun.”

Fields allegedly shot Bamidele “numerous times” in the back and in the head, according to court records.

Authorities said at the time that officers from Clanton Police Department and the Chilton County Sheriff’s Office responded to a residence in the 200 Block of Third Avenue South about 3 p.m. Oct. 18 after receiving a report of shots being fired at the residence.

At the scene, officers found Rachel Pedro dead from an apparent gunshot wound and Bamidele Pedro suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.

The suspect had fled the scene on foot.

A canine search team from Bibb County was called in to help with the ensuing search, but police soon received information that the suspect was hiding at a Clanton motel, where he was arrested without incident.

Fields is brother to Rachel Pedro and uncle to the second victim, authorities said at the time of the incident.

The suspect and two victims lived at the same residence, along with at least three other relatives, including Fields’ son and parents of the alleged shooter and deceased victim.

The other members of the household were present at the time of the shooting, authorities said.

The suspect did not sustain injuries during the incident, he said.

The younger victim was transported via emergency helicopter to UAB Hospital, where he had surgery.

Court records indicate Fields was convicted in 2005 of having sexually abused a 15-year-old girl in Illinois, according to Alabama’s sex offender registry.

In June, Fields was charged in Chilton County for violating Alabama’s sex offender notification law, and the case was bound over to a grand jury.

Fields pleaded guilty in August in Chilton County to public intoxication after he was arrested by CPD officers when they noticed him cursing and acting “like he wanted to fight,” according to court records.