Arrest Made in Florence Beating Death


Jeffrey Lee Taft

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FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – A Florence man has been arrested for causing the death of another man, weeks after a fight between the two.

The arrest of Jeffrey Taft Lee, 30, came Thursday afternoon when Florence police received enough probable cause in their death investigation.

In the early morning hours of March 9th Florence police said Gary Fields Sr.,61, went to wake a Lee who was asleep on the couch and an attack took place.

Investigators say it happened at Fields’ home on Colorado Avenue.

“Mr. Fields was beaten up pretty bad. He was then transported to the hospital where he stayed for a week, half of that being in intensive care,” explained Florence police Detective Sgt. Cliff Billingsley.

According to the Fields family, he suffered numerous injuries including broken ribs and several blows to the head.

Family members found Fields dead in his home on March 22nd after being released from the hospital.

Jeffrey Taft Lee has been charged with assault.

“The assault charge is for the beating, which depending on the preliminary autopsy that may be upgraded possibly to manslaughter,” stated Billingsley.

The family of Gary Fields Sr. said their brother was partially disabled, but would still help anyone in need.

Jeffrey Taft Lee remains in the Lauderdale County Detention Center on bail totaling $50,000.

The preliminary autopsy is expected to be returned to police by state forensics in the coming days.