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A Florida man thought he found the perfect mother for his young son -- until he found himself involved in a missing person’s case.
Those closest to 25-year-old Dewayne Barrentine referred to him as a gentle giant with a heart to match his size. A doting single father to his 6-year-old son, Bubba, there was only one thing missing from his life, and that was a woman with whom he could share his happiness.
“I was just one of ‘em dads that, come hell or high water, I was always gonna be in my son’s life,” Dewayne told “Charmed To Death,” airing Sundays at 7/6c on Oxygen.
With Bubba’s mother absent from the picture, Dewayne would find his son wishing for a new mommy during his bedtime prayers. It seemed Bubba’s prayers were answered when the beautiful Tausha Fields began working at his daycare, and she took an interest in Dewayne.
One day, while on the playground, one of the daycare workers relayed a handwritten message to Dewayne on behalf of Fields. She wanted him to call her. During that first phone call, which stretched into the following day, the pair hit it off as if they’d known one another for years.
The next day, Fields invited herself over to Dewayne’s house during her lunch break. The relationship hit the ground running, and they became intimate on the first meeting. Fields also began making an impression on Bubba by acting as a maternal figure in the young boy’s life. Fields, too, had a young daughter, and it seemed the new couple had all the makings of a happy, blended family.
Fields and her daughter moved in with Dewayne and Bubba within one month of meeting, but not everybody was as enthusiastic about the romance.
“I specifically said, ‘Dewayne, that’s not good, that’s a bad idea,’” said Dewayne’s mother, Lisa Barrentine. “And within an hour, Tausha is at my house wanting to know why I think that’s a bad idea.”
However, all seemed to be going well -- until five months later, when Bubba started experiencing abdominal troubles. Dewayne and his mother found out Fields was giving Bubba a laxative several times a day, which Tausha explained as being the pharmacist’s instructions. She referred to the elixir as “magic water.”
“I remember Bubba was getting really, really pale and was weak and was not feeling good,” said Dewayne. A pediatrician instructed Dewayne to take Bubba off the medicine immediately.
“That was a big red flag for me,” Lisa told producers.
It could have been a misunderstanding, but that was just the beginning of many questions throughout the relationship. Fields seemed to be a pathological liar who frequently made up stories about her background, including being a judge’s daughter or having a basketball scholarship.
Skeptical of Field's stories, Dewayne conducted research on the internet to learn more about the woman living in his home.
What Dewayne found was that Tausha Fields had been married to a man named Mitch Kemp of Boone County, Missouri. When, Dewayne confronted Fields, she made a surprising confession: She’d been married a total of five times by the age of 30. Kemp, whom she married twice, was husband numbers three and four.
Desperate to learn more, Dewayne’s mother reached out to Fields’ father in an attempt to glean information.
“I said, ‘My son is dating your daughter, and I just need to talk to you about it,’” Lisa told producers. “He said ‘Ma’am, I need you not to ever call me back again, and tell your son I said, ‘Run.’"
Then, Fields called Dewayne and frantically pleaded for help when her ex-boyfriend Keith overdosed on drugs. Until then, Dewayne had never heard of the man. Dewayne put Keith into his truck and brought him to the hospital, where he made a complete recovery. Upon his release, Dewayne asked Keith about Fields' background while the two were alone.
According to Keith, Fields once drunkenly confessed that her fifth husband, Greg Morton, killed a man up in Missouri on her behalf. Keith figured the admission was one of Fields' made-up tales.
Things only got worse in Dewayne and Fields' relationship, to the point where Fields physically attacked Dewayne and left bruises on his arms. He finally ended the relationship.
“She had battered him like you wouldn’t believe,” confirmed Dewayne’s mother.
Sometime after the breakup, Dewayne went on the computer, where Fields was still signed in to her MySpace social media account. Snooping through it, Dewayne found messages from relatives of her former husband, Mitch Kemp, whom she married twice. They wanted information about Kemp's whereabouts.
Boone County Sheriff’s Office detective Tom O’Sullivan told producers Kemp’s mother and brother reported him missing in late 2004.
“They just hadn’t heard from him for a period of numerous months,” said O’Sullivan.
Given that Kemp had several warrants out against him for theft-related charges, authorities questioned whether or not he voluntarily disappeared to escape possible jail time. But there was zero sign of Kemp going anywhere: no movement in his bank accounts or activity with his social security number.
Fields and Kemp had broken things off in 2003, and Fields took their daughter with her. Only a few months later, she met husband number five, Greg Morton, in Missouri. According to Kemp’s mother and her husband, the last time they saw Kemp was when they dropped him off at Morton’s farm.
As Florida and Missouri authorities exchanged notes about Fields, they turned to her recent boyfriend, Dewayne, to find out where she was. They then found her living with a new man in rural Alabama.
Authorities questioned her about Kemp’s disappearance, and she said she had no idea where he went.
Then, her story changed.
“Let me tell you exactly what happened,” Fields told authorities during a taped interview obtained by "Charmed To Death." “Greg killed Mitch ... He told me that he had shot him.”
Fields claimed Morton buried him on his farm.
“He told me that he came out there looking for me, and they got in a confrontation,” said Fields, who claimed that she was off to pick up her daughter when the murder occurred. Fields also also alleged Morton threatened to kill her and her daughter if she ever said anything about Kemp's murder.
“If he knows that I told you, he will take me and my baby’s life, you hear me?” Fields told detectives.
Fields drew investigators a map of Morton’s old farm in Missouri, leading them to where she believed they’d find Kemp’s buried body. Weeks later, they flew her from Alabama to Missouri to help them.
Fields' story changed once again and she said that she couldn’t remember where Kemp was buried.
With no body and no physical evidence that a murder occurred, no arrests could be made, and investigators grew discouraged.
“It’s frustrating,” said O’Sullivan. “Because we were wanting to bring some closure to this investigation.”
Also wanting closure was Dewayne.
“I was apprehensive. I was worried about her coming back and retaliating for me doing all this investigating and finding out her hidden secret,” said Dewayne. “I believe she would kill if she figured she could get away with it.”
Investigators traveled to St Louis, Missouri to interview Morton, but he refused to cooperate. They decided to re-interview Fields, who again changed her story.
This time, she told them she knew precisely where Kemp’s body was.
Investigators flew Fields out to Missouri one more time. Four years after Kemp’s disappearance, Fields led authorities to his fully-clothed body buried on the former property of Greg Morton.
The medical examiner determined Kemp was shot multiple times.
In 2008, both Greg Morton and Tausha Fields were arrested for the murder of Mitch Kemp.
Shocked by her arrest, Fields changed her story for the last time. She then told investigators that she was having an affair with her ex-husband, and Morton shot him to death in a jealous rage. Fields also admitted to being present when the murder occurred, a case of being at the wrong place at the wrong time.
Authorities said Fields couldn’t keep up with her own lies.
Then came the break investigators needed: Greg Morton finally started to talk.
“Tausha had told [Morton] that Mitchell Wayne Kemp had raped her and their young daughter,” O’Sullivan told producers.
Fields then lured Kemp to Morton’s farm so Morton could shoot him to death.
Authorities didn’t believe Kemp raped Fields or their daughter, but thought it was just another manipulative story she told to get Morton to do her bidding. They were also convinced that the motive behind the killing was so Fields could keep custody of their daughter.
In exchange for his testimony, Morton took a plea deal and agreed to a 19-year sentence for second-degree murder.
In 2010, a jury found Tausha Fields guilty of first-degree murder. She was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.
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