YORK – Priscilla Fields, 35, a current inmate at the Nebraska Center for Women and the co-defendant of Erica Jenkins in an inmate assault case, has been sentenced to more time in prison.
She was sentenced by Judge James Stecker Monday morning, in York County District Court, to an additional 4-8 years, to be served after her current 16-18-year sentence for second degree assault in Douglas County (which began in December of 2013).
Fields was accused of assisting Erica Jenkins in the serious beating of another inmate, with the motive being retaliation by Jenkins for the other inmate’s testimony in the original case that led to Jenkins’ life sentence.
Fields pleaded no contest to the charge and testified during Jenkins’ recent trial (in this particular matter) before a York County jury.
“She does have an extensive criminal history that goes back 15 years,” said George Welch, special prosecutor from the Nebraska Attorney General’s office. “That history includes violent assault involving a firearm. But it is also important to note she did participate in this serious attack, there was a plan in place, she kicked her, the assault was violent. And frankly, it is lucky the victim is alive. The court also needs to balance out the positive thing she did in this case – she did come forward, she worked with the investigation and testified truthfully at trial. In doing so, she put herself in a precarious position during her time in prison. What she did was absolutely wrong, but the court needs to consider that as well.”
“She testified against Ms. Jenkins, was cross examined extensively,” said Fields’ attorney, Bruce Stephens. “She did what she did, which she testified to and admitted. She did not use the lock on the victim and inflict the serious injuries. I think 12 months would be sufficient.”
Fields told the court she accepted responsibility for her actions.
“You have a violent prior record,” Judge Stecker said to Fields. “This assault was violent. The victim sustained serious injuries and your participation included kicking her while Ms. Jenkins created greater injuries. The court does take into account you cooperated and testified truthfully, but you also did participate in setting it up and participated in carrying it out.”
Jenkins, who is currently serving a life sentence for murder, was given an additional 20-40 years in prison for this particular crime.