HENDRY COUNTY, Fla. - Fourteen years ago, four local teenagers went on a crime spree that included arson and ended with the killing of a teacher, Mark Schwebes. We went to prison to talk to the man the Schwebes family calls "Judas," the betrayer who either let a murder happen or caused it to happen.
"I never said I deserved it. I'm asking for it, I'm asking for a second chance," convicted murderer, Derek Shields told WINK News. "I didn't commit the murder as far as actually pulling the trigger."
That has always been Shields' position about what happened on April 30, 1996 in Pine Manor. On that night, Shields and three other teenagers killed Riverdale High band leader Mark Schwebes on his front door step late at night. Shields knocked on Schwebes' front door and then stepped aside while Kevin Foster, the "Lords of Chaos" leader, shot Schwebes in the head and then shot him again. Foster is on death row. Shields got life.
"But I had a 12-gage shotgun to my head. I did try to stop them. I was forced to walk 60 feet-- 50 feet-- whatever it was, with a shotgun to my head; threatened with my life," Shields recalled.
No one disputes that Kevin Foster was the ring-leader. Here's how Shields described the minutes before the murder on the witness stand, during Foster's trial.
"And he just got mad and he said, 'Alright. Derek you're going to knock on the door. Chris Black, you're driving and you're all going to do as I say or you're going to die. Someone's going to die tonight.' "
Shields is the only one to acknowledge any responsibility for the killings.
"I know I should have done some prison time," he told us.
The idea to kill Schwebes started when Schwebes spotted some of the Lords of Chaos members hanging around Riverdale High with items stolen from the school. He told them to expect to hear from the school's resource officer the next day. About two hours later, because his address was in the phone book, Schwebes was dead.
"I see a Judas because he opened the door. He got my brother to open the door to his own student," Pat Schwebes Dunbar, Mark Schwebes' sister, told WINK on the 10th anniversary of her brother's death.
While Dunbar says she forgives Shields she believes he does need to stay locked up.
"I believe that he needs to serve out his time," she explained.
Despite that, Shields filed for clemency with the support of the Sheriff who arrested him.
"He was under duress, or fear, of a maniac that he knew would kill him," former Lee County Sheriff, John McDougall told our News crew four years ago.
We've just learned Schwebes' clemency request went all the way to the governor's desk this year but was denied.
"I don't care if I'm 80 years old in here. I'm going to try and fight one way or another to get out of here," Shields said.
When asked why he thinks he deserves another chance, Shields responded, "I never said I deserved it. I'm asking for it. I'm asking for another chance."
Shields also told us that he'll appeal the clemency ruling and file again if that's what it takes.