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Pot thief has murder warrant

A Georgia man found guilty of aggravated theft and first-degree burglary in Jackson County for his role in the brutal home-invasion robbery of a licensed Wimer marijuana grower is accused of robbing and killing a man in Pennsylvania in the months that followed the Rogue Valley crime, according to Philadelphia police.

Derrick Earl Shields, 28, of Columbus, Georgia, is lodged in the Jackson County Jail awaiting sentencing Friday for his role in the December 2016 robbery in which at least five masked men severely beat James Bowman over several hundred thousand dollars’ worth of marijuana.

Shields has a warrant out of Philadelphia charging him with murder and robbery in the shooting death of 30-year-old Timothy Manning in spring 2017, according to the Philadelphia Police Department.

Shields attended an extradition hearing Wednesday in Jackson County Circuit Court, where he sought a court-appointed lawyer. Circuit Judge Lorenzo Mejia set a new hearing for April 25 in the case.

Philadelphia police have named Shields as the suspect in a highway robbery and shooting that occurred just after 10 p.m. March 23, 2017. Police there found Manning collapsed on the side of a highway suffering from a single gunshot wound to the chest. Police rushed Manning to nearby Albert Einstein Medical Center, where medical personnel pronounced Manning dead.

The police agency’s homicide unit is still investigating the case, according to an email from the agency’s Public Affairs Bureau.

A jury convicted Shields April 6 of aggravated first-degree theft and first-degree burglary in the Bowman case. The jury acquitted Shields of charges of first-, second- and third-degree assault, first- and second-degree robbery.

Deputy District Attorney Marco Boccato, who prosecuted Shields, said the Jackson County District Attorney’s Office won’t oppose extradition to Pennsylvania prior to the completion of his Oregon sentence.

The Philadelphia warrant was filed Tuesday, according to court and Jackson County Jail records, and Boccato said he noticed the warrant Wednesday. Boccato said he wasn’t surprised, however, because he’s been in touch with a Philadelphia prosecutor since before the trial.

The sentence Boccato will seek in the Wimer case isn’t yet known. Boccato said determining Shields’ criminal history is more difficult because it’s all out-of-state, mainly in the state of Georgia.

“It’s just more complicated,” Boccato said.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or nmorgan@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at @MTCrimeBeat.

Derrick Shields