Guilty verdict spurs insanity plea in shooting case

Darius Simmonsoriginally by: JSOnline
published: 18 July 2013

For John Henry Spooner, the senior citizen who shot and killed his teenage neighbor, it’s no longer a question of conviction or acquittal but of life in prison or life in a mental institution.

After less than an hour of deliberation, a jury Wednesday found Spooner, 76, guilty of first-degree intentional homicide for fatally shooting Darius Simmons, his 13-year-old neighbor.

In court recess after the announcement of the verdict, Simmons’ mother, Patricia Larry, embraced friends who have watched the proceedings with her all week from the front row of the courtroom gallery.

Larry testified Tuesday that she watched from her front porch as Spooner shot her son, saying she held Simmons in her arms moments later as he bled to death from a wound to the chest.

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