An Ignacio fugitive accused of running over his girlfriend with his truck in downtown Bayfield in 2016 was arrested in Texas.
Case Fields, 38, appeared Thursday in Durango’s 6th Judicial District Court for an arraignment hearing. He wore shackles and a jail-issued jumpsuit. District Judge Suzanne Carlson set his bail at $250,000.
Before skipping town, Fields was charged with felony assault, vehicular assault, false imprisonment and reckless driving.
Janelle Bilyeu, the woman Fields is suspected of running over, pleaded with the judge to keep him in jail.
“He’s very dangerous and he almost killed me,” she told the court. “He’s never had remorse. I had to learn to walk all over again. I’m very grateful that he’s caught, but please don’t let him out.”
While driving from Ignacio to Bayfield on the morning of Oct. 28, 2016, Fields and Bilyeu, who had been dating for seven years, began arguing about money, according to an arrest affidavit.
Bilyeu told police Fields was driving erratically, speeding, swerving and banging his head on the steering wheel of his 1999 Chevy Silverado.
Bilyeu asked Fields to stop the vehicle and let her out, but he replied, “If you want out you better jump (expletive)!” according to the affidavit.
Fields eventually pulled into a parking spot in the 100 block of Mill Street in downtown Bayfield. Bilyeu said she got out of the 1999 Chevy Silverado, and the next thing she remembers is being loaded into an ambulance.
Fields characterized the situation as a misunderstanding.
He told police that Bilyeu had forgotten some personal items at his home in Ignacio. They briefly discussed both turning around to retrieve her items or to drop Bilyeu off at her house in Bayfield while Fields returned for the belongings, according to the affidavit.
Fields said he was under the assumption they would both go back to his house, so he pulled into a parking spot, put the vehicle into reverse, looked over his left shoulder as he backed up and didn’t realize Bilyeu had opened the door to get out, according to the affidavit.
Fields said he felt a “bump” of the front passenger tire rolling over the top of Bilyeu’s leg.
According to the Bayfield Marshal’s Office, Bilyeu’s foot got caught under the front passenger tire, which ran over her leg. Deputies found skid marks from abrupt turning maneuvers and items that had been thrown out of the vehicle, according to the affidavit.
Bilyeu suffered a broken leg, hit her head and injured her elbow. She underwent at least two surgeries on her right leg.
They arrested Fields on suspicion of domestic violence and vehicular assault.
Fields was released on $6,000 bail and given a GPS ankle monitoring bracelet. He is suspected of cutting the bracelet on Nov. 25 near Farmington.
He was recently arrested in Texas, but the details of his arrest were not immediately available.
Outside the courtroom Thursday, Bilyeu said she is a different person than she was seven years ago. She is now a Jehovah’s Witness who gives Bible studies and helps other women who are victims of domestic violence.
“I had to work really hard to learn to walk all over again,” she said.
Bilyeu said she has been living in fear, afraid Fields would try to kill her or someone else.
“When I found out he was caught I got really scared, but I’m really happy at the same time,” she said.
She said it has been a “painful” recovery. She is working to stay safe and “be smart” about other people. She declined to say where she is living, saying she wants to keep that confidential.
“I don’t want other women to go through this,” she said.