Decision of life or death set for Vernell Loggins in Stephanie Fields murder

4:55 AM, Aug 24, 2012   |    comments
  • Vernell Loggins
  • Stephanie Fields.
  • Our cameras caught Loggins loitering near the crime scene while police were on sight. (Note: A bystander's face was removed from this image.)
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Union, MO (KSDK) - A man convicted of first degree murder in February is expected to learn his punishment September 6th after months of delay over whether he's eligible for the death penalty as recommended by the jury.

39 year old Vernell Loggins of Pacific was convicted of the brutal slaying of 25 year old Stephanie Fields, also of Pacific in November 2009.  Franklin County prosecutors sought the death penalty against Loggins and have argued with defense attorneys for the past six months over Loggins eligibility to be sentenced to die for the murder.

Defense counsel had south a second degree murder conviction against Loggins who prosecutors say fatally stabbed Fields who he had been romantically involved.

Prosecutors argued the brutality of the crime; along with evidence Loggins dismembered the young woman's body after killing her was more than sufficient proof of the jury's decision to recommend Loggins be sentenced to death.

Maintenance workers found parts of Fields body in a trash container outside the apartment building where Loggins lived.  Evidence presented at trial showed Loggins buying the trash can, cleaning products and an adhesive product which was all used to conceal the crime.

Loggins was also convicted of armed criminal action in the crime and could be sentenced to life in prison on that charge alone.  The only options for first degree murder are life without parole or death by lethal injection.

Judge Gael Wood will announce his decision next month.

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