A homeless denizen of Victorville has been arrested in the aftermath of an incident a week ago in which he is believed to have killed another homeless man by setting him on fire.
On May 19 at around 5:30 a.m., Victorville Sheriff’s Station deputies were summoned to the parking lot of a vacant building in the 16700 block of D Street by the report of a man on fire.
When deputies arrived, they found Christopher U. Fields dead. He had been lit on fire and succumbed to his injury.
Fields was described as a 54-year-old negro whose last known actual established residence was in Carson.
Based on information provided and a speedy preliminary investigation by deputies who within a half hour coordinated with sheriff’s specialized investigations division detectives who were shortly thereafter accompanied by members of both the department’s homicide and arson details, Robert Doyle Patty, a 53-year-old transient, was identified as the suspected killer.
Patty was located at 16797 D Street in Victorville at 4:28 p.m and taken into custody on suspicion of violating Penal Code 187(A) murder and violating Penal Code 69 obstructing/resisting an executive officer on May 19 of this year, Penal Code 647.6(A)(1) annoying or molesting a victim under the age of 18 and Penal Code 314(1) indecent exposure that allegedly occurred on Halloween 2020. He is being held in lieu of $1 million bail.
The San Bernardino County District Attorney’s office charged him with murder on May 23, at which time he waived arraignment.
He is due to appear in Department V-1 at the Victorville Courthouse to answer the murder charge on May 30 at 9:30 a.m.
Previously, on May 24, 2021, Patty denied and pleaded not guilty to felony use of a deadly weapon and engaging in felony criminal threats that would potentially result in great bodily injury or death stemming from the same incident that occurred on May 20, 2021. Both charges were dismissed in the interest of justice on May 20, 2022.
On September 30, 2009, Patty pleaded no contest to reckless driving, stemming from an incident on November 11, 2007 for which he had been charged with driving under the influence, being in possession of a controlled substance and reckless driving in an unincorporated county area. The possession and being under the influence charges were dropped.
On September 20, 2012, charges against Patty of being under the influence of a controlled substance and being under the influence while driving in an unincorporated county area, stemming from a June 10, 2012 incident, were dropped.
On July 1, 2016 charges of theft of personal property and burglary against Patty based on his action on April 24, 2015 in Barstow were dismissed.
On July 1, 2016, he entered a guilty plea to driving under the influence in the unincorporated area of the county on May 29, 2014, another charge of driving under the influence in Victorville on October 27, 2014, and a third charge of driving under the influence on Christmas Day 2015. On July 1, 2016, a charge against Patty of being drunk in public in Barstow on July 4, 2016 was dismissed in the interest of justice. On November 3, 2016, a charge of being drunk in public that stemmed from an incident on June 1, 2016 was dismissed in the interest of justice.