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Darius Simmons Murder: Video shows John Henry Spooner firing fatal shot at Wisconsin 13-year-old, prosecutors say

FILE - This combination of file photo shows Particia Larry, right, on June 2, 2012, in MIlwaukee, holding a picture of her son son Darius Simmons, 13, and John Henry Spooner, left, in a photo provided by the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Department. Spooner was found guilty Wednesday, July 17, 2013, in Milwaukee of fatally shooting his 13-year-old neighbor, Simmons, whom he suspected of burglary. (AP Photos/File, Milwaukee County Sheriff's Dept./AP, File) Dinesh Ramdi

(CBS)MILWAUKEE-The fatal gunshot fired by a Wisconsin senior citizen at his 13-year-old neighbor was captured on a security camera video, and the recording was entered into evidence in court this week,the Milwuakee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reports.

John Henry Spooner, 76, was convicted of first-degree intentional homicide by a jury Wednesday in the May 2012 death of his neighbor Darius Simmons. On the video recording, captured on Spooner's security camera, Simmons is seen moving garbage bins before he is apparently confronted by Spooner. Spooner is seen waving his gun and then shooting Simmons, who runs away.

In court, Assistant District Attorney Mark Williams reportedly told the jury "the best piece of evidence you're going to see in this case is the murder," referring to the tape.

"You're going to see the terror in Darius' face, and you're going to see how cold-blooded and callous Mr. Spooner was," Williams said, according to the paper.

Spooner, who is white, reportedly said Simmons had stolen four of his guns and that he "had reached his breaking point" when the teen, who is black, didn't admit to burglarizing his home.

In emotional testimony in court, Simmons' mother Patricia Larry testified that she was standing at the front door of her home as Spooner demanded Simmons return the weapons, and then shot him, the papers reports. In the video, the teen is seen running away from Spooner. He later collapsed and died, according to the report.

Proceedings in the case reportedly ground to a halt Thursday as the court weighed whether Spooner was suffering from a mental disorder that affected his ability to understand the criminality of his actions at the time of the shooting. Defense attorney Franklyn Gimbel reportedly said his client was mentally unfit to continue with the insanity plea portion of the trial, and court was set to re-convene after Simmons is evaluated by a psychiatrist.

Spooner reportedly asked to address the jury in court Thursday.

"I won't get to say anything at the end of the trial?" Spooner asked. "I want to make a statement to the jury. I'll hold it down to 15 minutes."

  • Crimesider Staff

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