UPDATE: Jury finds Simpson guilty

Published 7:26 am Thursday, June 18, 2009

By By Adam Prestridge
The jury in the Milton Simpson Jr. murder case came back with a guilty verdict just after 3 p.m.
Simpson showed no emotion when Circuit Judge Bert Rice read the verdict.
He was taken into custody and transported to the Escambia County Detention Center .
He is being held on a $200,000 bond and awaits an Aug. 12 sentencing date.
Posted at 2:05 p.m.- At 1:33 p.m., Circuit Judge Bert Rice met with Escambia County District Attorney Steve Billy, Assistant Disrict Attorney Todd Stearns and defense attorney Jerome Carter, in regards to a request from the jury.
Rice informed the state and the defense that the jury had requested to rehear the definitions of murder and manslaughter as well as intent, according to law.
The jurys request was granted without any opposition, and they were escorted back into the courtroom where Rice went back over the definitions of the charges.
Deliberations have continued.
Posted at 1:25 p.m.- The jury is still out in the murder trial of Milton Simpson Jr.
Families of both Simpson and the victim Teoria McNeal have gathered at the Escambia County Courthouse in Brewton awaiting the jury's decision.
McNeal's mother, Carlie Felder, has just recently been joined by family members in the courtroom where she has been sitting alone with her head down in anticipation of a verdict.
It has been just over two hours since the jury began deliberations.
Posted at 11:20 a.m.- The jury in the Milton Simpson Jr murder trial was dismissed from the courtroom at 11:13 a.m. to begin deliberations.
Prior to releasing the jury, Circuit Judge Bert Rice first explained the law to the jury, which is made up of six white males, four black females and four white females. He also explained the differences in evidence the jurors should consider when finding the defendant either guilty or not guilty for both the murder and manslaughter charges.
Rice also released the two alternate jurors, a white male and a black female.
No response from the state or the defense was made prior to the jurys release.
Posted at 10:17 a.m.- Following an hour and 25 minutes of closing arguments, the jury in the Milton Simpson Jr. murder case is on a break before Circuit Judge Bert Rice discusses the law and charges with them.
Both the state and the defense questioned the credibility of witnesses and reviewed evidence while the state gave examples of the intent Simpson may have had to stab to death his girlfriend, Teoria McNeal.
Rice has informed both the state and defense that he will bring forth a lesser charge of manslaughter in addition to the murder charge.

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