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Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

76-year-old man to stand trial in shooting death of 13-year-old boy

Posted by on Jul. 16, 2013 at 8:43 PM
  • 12 Replies

In a case that bears some striking similarities to George Zimmerman's, a 76-year-old Milwaukee man is set to stand trial this week in the 2012 shooting death a 13-year-old boy he had accused of stealing from him.

Police say John Henry Spooner confronted Darius Simmons, who lived next door with his mother, as the teen took out the trash. Spooner, who is white, had suspected that Simmons, who was black, stole $3,000 worth of shotguns from him, and demanded that the sixth-grader return them. Simmons denied stealing the guns, and his mother, Patricia Larry, told Spooner to go back inside.

Instead, prosecutors say, Spooner pulled out a handgun and shot the 13-year-old in the chest from near-point blank range.

"When police arrived, Spooner was still on the sidewalk, holding the gun," according to the criminal complaint. "When told to drop the weapon, he placed it on the ground and told police, 'Yeah, I shot him.'"

An autopsy showed that Simmons, who was unarmed, suffered a gunshot wound to his torso, according to the Associated Press. Spooner was charged with first degree murder. He pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett condemned the killing. "To have a boy who's taking out the garbage at 10:30 in the morning murdered should shock the conscience of the state," Barrett said at the time.

Just hours before the shooting, Spooner told a local politician he was frustrated police had not arrested the boy in the alleged burglary, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and hinted he might take the law into his own hands.

"There are other ways to deal with situations," Alderman Bob Donovan recalled Spooner saying.

Spooner's apparent reference to vigilantism drew comparisons to Zimmerman's killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin after the former neighborhood watchman followed him through a Sanford, Fla., housing complex. Zimmerman was acquitted of all charges on Saturday.

Last year, the Rev. Jesse Jackson's Rainbow PUSH Coalition called for Spooner to be charged with a federal hate crime. On Monday, an attorney representing Simmons' family said there's a clear "issue of profiling" and a "race component" to the case. But Spooner has denied race was a factor in the shooting.

The trial was supposed to begin in January but was delayed due to concerns about Spooner's health.

His defense attorney, Franklyn Gimbel, said Spooner has been suffering from pneumonia.

Jury selection was completed Monday.

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/news/spooner-darius-simmons-shooting-trial-170359879.html


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Ok my thoughts on this. In what way is this at all like the Zimmerman case? Because a black child was shot? So every black child shot will be compared to Zimmerman now? 

Seems to me like another media attempt to the stir the pot up where nothing exists to be stirred. 

Oh wait I get it...Jesse Jackson spoke out, because another poor black child got killed. I am not mocking the lost life of the child, but he only speaks up when its a black child that gets killed, and I dislike people like that. 
 

by on Jul. 16, 2013 at 8:43 PM
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DusterMommy
by Bronze Member on Jul. 16, 2013 at 8:49 PM
Unless there is some clear indication that he thought the boy stole the property ONLY because he was black, then I don't think it's a hate crime. There aren't enough details - it doesn't say WHY he blamed the boy.

It's seriously fucked up that he shot him, and he deserves to spend the rest of his life in prison - but hate crime? Not necessarily.
terpmama
by Silver Member on Jul. 16, 2013 at 8:52 PM
2 moms liked this
I think it's the "taking the law into their own hands" aspect that is being paralleled (as stated in the article). It's the idea that "the police are doing enough so I will".
jllcali
by on Jul. 16, 2013 at 8:58 PM
That is just horrible.

I find the details of the theft odd.
heresjohnny
by Bronze Member on Jul. 16, 2013 at 9:19 PM
1 mom liked this

Striking similarities? Are they trying to be funny? Nothing about this is similar to the Zimmerman case. Nothing. A black teenager was shot, but even that is quite a stretch for comparing these stories. I am sick and tired of the media drumming up race every time a crime involves people of different races. I have no idea if the old man was racist, but I'm pretty sure he shot the kid because he thought he stole his guns, not because he was black. It's not that uncommon for the neighbor kid to be accused in those types of situations, regardless of race.

In addition to that, there's no way this guy is going to get away with it. He wasn't defending himself in any way, shape, or form. He shot the kid in cold blood, admitted it, and was arrested for his crime. He wasn't temporarily insane, he was just pissed off. A jury will see right through him. And no matter what side of the Zimmerman trial you were on, I'm pretty sure the only person defending this guys actions is his lawyer.

DSamuels
by Gold Member on Jul. 16, 2013 at 9:22 PM
He (the old man) hadn't been punched by the boy. He didn't call the police about a suspicious person. I don't see any similarities at all. He didn't shot in self defense, he murdered him.
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autodidact
by Platinum Member on Jul. 16, 2013 at 9:43 PM

insanity my ass. 

autodidact
by Platinum Member on Jul. 16, 2013 at 9:45 PM

stand your  . . . guns? 

terpmama
by Silver Member on Jul. 16, 2013 at 9:51 PM
To be fair ( read: devils advocate)... He did call the police about thekid prior to shooting him.
And you could argue he was defending his propery (which falls under SYG).

Quoting DSamuels:He (the old man) hadn't been punched by the boy. He didn't call the police about a suspicious person. I don't see any similarities at all. He didn't shot in self defense, he murdered him.
JanetMonroe1991
by Bronze Member on Jul. 16, 2013 at 9:57 PM
1 mom liked this

Defending his life falls under SYG, defending his house falls under the castle law, neither of those things apply here. 

That is assuming of course that the media has this story correct, which shouldn't be assumed at all. 


Quoting terpmama:

To be fair ( read: devils advocate)... He did call the police about thekid prior to shooting him.
And you could argue he was defending his propery (which falls under SYG).

Quoting DSamuels:He (the old man) hadn't been punched by the boy. He didn't call the police about a suspicious person. I don't see any similarities at all. He didn't shot in self defense, he murdered him.



DSamuels
by Gold Member on Jul. 16, 2013 at 9:58 PM
Nope, a neighbor taking out the trash is not a threat, unless he was throwing it in his yard, and even then it's not a bodily threat. I stand by my opinion it was murder, not SYG or self defense unless they left out a big chunk of info.

IMO nothing whatsoever like GZ/TM case.


Quoting terpmama:

To be fair ( read: devils advocate)... He did call the police about thekid prior to shooting him.

And you could argue he was defending his propery (which falls under SYG).



Quoting DSamuels:He (the old man) hadn't been punched by the boy. He didn't call the police about a suspicious person. I don't see any similarities at all. He didn't shot in self defense, he murdered him.

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