ARAPAHOE COUNTY – A man found guilty of trying to kill his ex-fiancee was sentenced Thursday.
Christopher Fields, 29, will be spending 76 years behind bars for shooting at his ex-fiancee through the windshield of her car in January 2013. The victim was shot once but suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
The judge in the case said he was prepared to give Fields a lighter sentence but changed his mind after Fields addressed the court. Fileds spoke Thursday for about 15 minutes but did not apologize for his actions. He called the entire ordeal "regretful."
"I am in shock. I thought I'd heard it all," said judge Christopher Cross when starting his remarks to sentence Fields. "I'm just amazed. You've done yourself no favors [by speaking]."
Investigators said the victim was driving north on the County Line exit ramp from I-25 when she was approached by Fields. Court records say he stepped in front of her car and fired one shot through the windshield.
"My ex-boyfriend shot me," the victim told police according to the affidavit, "I was sitting at the light on the on-ramp at County Line, and he just walked up and shot me. I couldn't believe it."
9NEWS is withholding the name of the victim in this case.
During the sentencing the victim addressed the judge, saying "Christopher has engulfed my life in agony for almost three years. I even had to learn how to breathe again. I'm not able to function in crowds well anymore. I become frightened. I don't trust anyone but my family."
The shooting victim said she didn't understand why this had happened to her.
"What did I even see in him?" the victim told the judge. "How could anybody do the things he did? I felt like this was my fault. Because of the decision I made to stay with him as long as I did."
Fields' mom sat in court with her fingers in her ears, trying to not listen to testimony from the victim.
Fields addressed the court on Thursday. He has not spoken publicly before about this shooting.
"My actions, my words, my character, my intentions have all been interpreted and characterized by people other than myself," Fields said. "My mother and my grandmother have tried to help me. They are the only people that have remained with me at great penalty to them. They tried to advise me in my relationship with the victim."
Deputies say Fields ripped off his ankle bracelet and left it at the scene.
Fields was later arrested in New Mexico. Prosecutors said Fields was on his way to Mexico, running from the crime.
At the time of the 2013 shooting, Fields had a case for stalking in Douglas County, for which he was ordered to wear a pretrial release GPS ankle monitor that was left at the scene.
A woman filed two restraining orders against Fields, one in November 2011 and later in June 2012. She was granted a permanent protection order in June.
MOM OF SUSPECT SPEAKS OUT
In 2013, Christopher Fields' mother, Joyce Fields, says her son has been mentally ill for years.
"Christopher has seen councilors his whole life. He is now 27," Joyce Fields said.
Fields says the system failed her son and no matter how many times she tried getting him help, it just wasn't enough.
Before sentencing Thursday, Fields' mother told 9NEWS she was unhappy to see the crew in court and asked why the media was at the courthouse to cover her son's sentencing.
She declined to speak to 9NEWS.
The victim's family released the following statement:
This sentence means our life. It means closure.
We want to thank everyone -- all these good people -- who helped us in both Arapahoe and Douglas Counties. We want to thank The Honorable Judge Christopher Cross.
For any victim of stalking -- whether you're a man or woman -- call the police. Call 911 even if it sounds inconsequential. Even if you think nothing is going to be come of it, every bit of information is important.
Pray -- we do that a lot. We hope in Him to take care of it and He did. We did our part by reporting everything.
Do not lose hope. Follow the courts and the judicial system no matter how hard it can be. That's how justice gets served. Don't give up. Support your family and support the victim. It's the most important thing to do.
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