Man sentenced in woman’s shooting death


Larry Fields opened the door to the man who killed his sister Gwen Fields two years ago, and the memory of her death haunts him to this day. She comes to him at night in his dreams, most recently in the company of their deceased father.

“I still miss her,” Fields, 55, said.

On Tuesday morning, Fields saw Gwen’s killer once again. In a downtown Charleston courtroom, he watched as the man who took her life was sentenced to 24 years in prison.

Arthur F. Peterson, 35, of Wellington Drive, had pleaded guilty but mentally ill in January to a charge of voluntary manslaughter in the March 14, 2011, shooting death of 45-year-old Gwen.

Fields didn’t say much after the hearing about the day his sister was killed. He doesn’t like recalling that moment, he said. He is the one who opened the door that morning when Peterson walked into their West Ashley home on Taberwood Circle with breakfast for Fields and Fields’ brother, Dudley.

Peterson would come over to the home to pray with Gwen’s paralyzed daughter, 24-year-old Shakeyra Fields. The brothers didn’t know how Peterson had come into their lives, just that Gwen had run across him somewhere.

The day of the killing, Peterson showed up at the home at about 9:15 a.m. and went into Shakeyra’s room. When he emerged a short time later, he demanded to know where Gwen was, according to police.

After she arrived home, Peterson got on the phone and called 911 around 10 a.m.

Dispatchers told responding patrol officers that the caller was alleging that someone had been abused by her mother the night before, a report said.

About 10:53 a.m., one officer was in the living room when he heard three gunshots and saw Peterson coming out of the kitchen holding a gun, an arrest warrant said.

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