The trial against a man charged with killing three people in a crash last year was halted this week.
Demetrius Price waived his right to a jury trial this week and pleaded guilty to three counts of manslaughter. The family of two of the victims is relieved but said it doesn't take away the pain they’ve endured over the past year.
“This is the last place on Earth that they were alive,” LaJan Fields said.
The crosses mark that place in the median at the intersection of W. Reno Avenue and Rockwell Avenue.
“I'll come up here when things are just too overwhelming and I’ll just sit and be with my kids,” she said.
Her kids were son, Jason Fields, his girlfriend, Shannon West, and their daughter, 22-month-old Ruby.
“She was brilliant and full of attitude,” remembered Fields of her young granddaughter. “She loved to dance.”
The three were killed last April when they were hit by 23-year-old Demetrius Price. Price was arrested on suspicion of DUI but was only charged with manslaughter and driving without a valid license. His trial was set to begin this week, but before jury selection was to begin, he pleaded guilty in their deaths.
“Fear of hearing what happened to my children described in detail, it would have been hard,” she said.
Now, Fields is moving forward, telling her story to others through the Victims Impact Panel of Oklahoma, a program aimed at stopping drunk driving and driving under the influence.
“It's a healing process for me,” she said.
She wears their ashes inside a locket around her neck as she continues the fight.
“I have the letter that Jason wrote to Ruby on her first birthday, telling her that he couldn't give her everything she deserved but he could always give her his love and protection,” said Fields. “That’s kind of my mission now, to get justice for them and to keep another grandmother and mother from feeling this.”
Fields said she will hold a candlelight vigil in their honor on April 6, the anniversary of their deaths. The family is also requesting police to hold a DUI checkpoint that same night at the intersection of W. Reno Avenue and Rockwell Avenue.
Meanwhile, Price’s sentencing is set for May 10.