Murder Trial Underway in Franklin Co.

By MJ Kneiser, WLHR Radio, Lavonia

A murder trial is underway this week in Franklin County.

Testimony got underway Tuesday morning in the trial of Caleb Brandon Fielding at the Franklin County Courthouse in Carnesville.

The 30-year old Iva, South Carolina resident is accused in the beating death of 87-year old Jack Vaughn of Lavonia last year.

Lavonia Police investigators say on the afternoon of October 20th, 2011, Fielding broke into the home of Dot and Jack Vaughn on Barston Street in Lavonia looking for prescription drugs.

During the incident, Fielding allegedly beat the couple with a baseball bat and then stole their car.

Mrs. Vaughn was able to escape the house and get to a neighbor’s apartment for help.

However, Jack Vaughn was beaten so severely he died later at Greenville Memorial Hospital.

His wife, Dot, suffered head injuries and arm injuries and was later released from a local hospital.

Authorities say Fielding was renting a house near the Vaughns while working a nearby construction job.

He was questioned that evening and later arrested for giving police false information.

On December 16, 2011, Fielding was indicted by a Franklin County Grand Jury on one count of malice murder, two counts of felony murder, one count of aggravated assault, one count of armed robbery, one count of burglary, and one count of aggravated battery.

Opening arguments were delayed Monday for several hours as the judge waded through pre-trial motions.