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Seymour Teen Will Serve Year In Prison On Reckless Homicide Charge
Updated May 18, 2016 8:53 AM | Filed under: Crime
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(SEYMOUR) - A Seymour teen will serve up to a year in prison after pleading guilty earlier this month to reckless homicide in the death of a Seymour man in the summer of 2014.

Garrett Lee Fields, 19, was given a three-year sentence Friday for his role in the death of 63-year-old Lee S. Ertel, but Jackson Circuit Court Judge Richard W. Poynter suspended two of those years. Fields also will have to serve a year on probation.

The Level 5 felony charge carried a maximum sentence of six years.

The charge stems from a wreck that fatally injured 63-year-old Ertel of Seymour.

Medical records show the Seymour teen, Fields, had marijuana in his system when he failed to stop at an intersection south of Cortland, according to court records.

The wreck led to the death of Lee S. Ertel, according to the probable cause affidavit signed by Officer Tom Barker with the Jackson County Sheriff's Department.

The accident happened at the intersection of County Road 400 East and 550 North, just south of Cortland in August.
Ertel died from his injuries at Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, according to Coroner Roger Wheeler. Wheeler say Ertel appeared to be suffering from internal bleeding before he was loaded into the helicopter.
18-year-old Fields, also of Seymour, who was driving the second vehicle involved in the wreck, also was flown to Methodist Hospital.

According to a police report, Fields was traveling west on County Road 550 North in a Dodge truck. Ertel was driving a Chevrolet utility pickup south on County Road 400 East.

Ertel was trapped in his vehicle and was freed by Hamilton Township Volunteer Fire Department and Jackson County EMS personnel.

Ertel then was taken to the fire department just north of Cortland, where a landing zone had been set up by firefighters. PHI Stat Flight from North Vernon transported Ertel to Methodist Hospital.

Fields, who police say was out of the vehicle when they arrived, was taken from the scene to the helipad at Schneck Medical Center in Seymour by Jackson County EMS. He was complaining of pelvic pain. LifeLine Helicopter Service transported him to Methodist Hospital.

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