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Crime & Courts

'Career criminal' gets prison

A Chicago man was ordered to prison Thursday for leading police on a high-speed chase through Ottawa almost four years ago.

Chief Judge H. Chris Ryan Jr. sentenced Christopher R. Fields, 39, to seven years in prison. He'll have to serve a little more than three years.

Fields was caught by Ottawa police May 29, 2014, after leading them on a chase in which Fields drove as fast as 80 mph. He posted $10,000 cash bond, then pleaded guilty in February 2015, but did not show for his sentencing in April 2015, becoming a fugitive. As a result, he lost the $10,000.

Fields turned himself in on Feb. 19, 2018.

At the sentencing Thursday, Fields explained he went on the lam, because he had a baby on the way and wanted time to bond with the child. Fields said this was especially important, because his own father abandoned him when he was 7 years old.

Fields asked Ryan to go easy on him, because he wanted the separation from his child to be as short as possible.

Prosecutor Matt Kidder described Fields as a "career criminal," with a rap sheet that includes robbery, drug dealing, gun offenses, driving while license revoked, obstructing justice and driving while license suspended "over and over and over again."

Fields also was convicted of fleeing Ottawa police in 2010. In that case, he was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison. Fields has been in prison for other crimes.

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