A trial for a 76-year-old man accused of shooting to death his 13-year-old neighbor in front of his mother in Milwaukee is set to begin this week. The case is being touted as vigilante justice.

Police reports say  John Henry Spooner shot Simmons, his next door neighbor, last May after accusing the boy of stealing $3,000 worth of guns from his home. The teen, who had lived with his mother next door to Spooner for only a month, was taking out the trash around 10:00 a.m. when Spooner accused the boy of the theft and demanded he return the shotguns. The boy told Spooner he had not stolen the guns and his mother, Patricia Larry, told the elderly man to go back inside.

Spooner then pulled out a handgun and shot Simmons in the chest from only five feet away, killing the boy.

From The NY Daily News:

“I condemn in the strongest words possible the murder of Darius Simmons,” Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said after the shooting. “To have a boy who’s taking out the garbage at 10:30 in the morning murdered should shock the conscience of the state.”

Spooner allegedly told arriving officers “Yeah, I shot him.”

The elderly man allegedly complained to a local politician about being frustrated over the police response to his report of the theft. He’d been burglarized in the past, the Sentinel reported. The man was described as a good neighbor, but in December, 2006, police seized 16 guns from his home after he was accused of hosting a felon at his residence. The eight rifles, four shotguns and four handguns were later returned to Spooner.

He allegedly shot Simmons on May 31, 2012, in front of at least two witnesses. The trial has been twice delayed and was scheduled to begin Monday. His defense plans to claim Spooner is not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect. If convicted of first-degree intentional homicide, Spooner faces life in prison.

“My son, Darius Simmons, was shot and killed in front of me,” Larry, his mother, told the Sentinel in May after the trial was delayed for a second time. “It’s affected me, my friends, my work.”

It’s open season and black people are the hunted.

  • MimiLuvs

    I remember this case and I was wondering when a trial was approaching.
    IMO, I think he will be found guilty, but I think he will spend his remiaining days comfortable though.
    A small part of me doesn’t want this trial to be televised and a large part of me hopes that this geezer doesn’t die from natural causes before the trial begins.

  • Karyn

    I think this is the old man that was recorded saying, “Yea, I shot a/the ni**er” or something along those lines. Now if they claim that being racist is a mental defect then there needs to be a hell of a lot more mental wards than prisons.

  • Chelle

    I’m reading this in utter disbelief. You shoot a 13 yo child in front of his mother because you “think” he stole from you? This is complete and utter bs. I hope they put that old bastard under the jail. A child’s, gone. This type of thing disgusts me to no end. As a lawyer, how do you take on a case where an adult kills a child in front of their own home?

  • Chelle

    I hope his old a** doesn’t die yet either, because he needs to go to jail

  • http://positivelyjewls.com Shamika “Positively Jewls”

    In my personal opinion this man may just be mentally ill (doesn’t excuse what he did) but I’m just thinking of his complaints, age and him being so straightforward to the police about what he did as if he had no care in the world. Due to the fact that he was burglarized and his untimely thinking of that being the moment for him to defend himself. Sigh! RIP to this young soul who lost his life for no reason.

  • http://positivelyjewls.com Shamika “Positively Jewls”

    Thanks for this tidbit of info as this is the first time I have heard of this case and if a racist slur was thrown in than that changes the whole game. I tried to give the benefit of the doubt but nope.

  • bob

    old man already lived his life already that boy was just starting his. What punishment can he get that will equal what he took. he is an old man you think he cares what happens he is going to die soon regardless.

  • Nika

    You’re trying to give the benifits of the doubt I’m sure but there is nothing mentally wrong with this man. I’ve seen countless elderly who react to certain situations based on life experience. This man is old and thus grew up during a time where it would have been perfectly okay to shoot any random black person for no good reason. They often admitted to their wrong doing in a matter of fact way because it was the norm. It has nothing to do with mental instability. But he’ll get off just like the rest of them.

  • Eyes Wide Shut

    Dear Clutch Moderators/editors, etc.

    Thank you for writing on this story. We (black people) need to be made more aware of these stories which is nothing more than Jim Crow reincarnated (a poster said James Crow Jr.).

    IMO, we don’t galvanize enough bc in this day and age of 24/7 info-newscycle trash, important stories like these get buried very quickly.

    Keep up the work Clutch.

    Maybe you can write something up on Marissa Alexander. Now that woman needs a presidential pardon!

    Thank you,

    Eyes Wide Shut

  • HaNiKhun

    That’s actually a totally different case. In Florida (Ha! Great state that Florida) Walter Henry Butler shot his black neighbor in the face after the neighbor confronted him for yelling racial slurs at his children. Butler then called 911 finished his dinner with the man dying on the ground in front of him then in shock that the police would actually deign to arrest him said in his own defense “I only shot a nigger”.

    To be fair to him though it’s not really illegal to kill black people they should’ve given him a stern talking to, returned his gun to him and let him walk the streets a free man. Maybe a $40 fine at the most. I don’t know how much are black lives worth these days but it can’t be much more than that.

  • i’m sleep tho…

    that old white fucker didn’t give a gotdamn…he needs the death penalty, not the few years left of his life in prison. this is madness!!

  • HaNiKhun

    That’s actually a totally different story about a totally different unarmed dead black person. In Florida (gotta love that sunshine state!) a man named Walton Henry Butler shot his neighbor Everett Grant in the face after Grant (a 32 year old father) knocked on his door and confronted him for yelling racial slurs at his children. Butler then proceeded to calmly call 911, finish his dinner with his neighbor dying in front of him and then, shocked that the police would deign to even arrest him claimed in his own defense that he “Only shot a ni**er.”

    To be fair to Butler, killing a black person isn’t really illegal in Florida so the police should have been more understanding. He should’ve received a stern talking to and had his gun immediately returned to him. At most maybe a $40 fine. I’m not sure how much black lives are worth in the eyes of the law but it can’t be much more than that.

  • HaNiKhun

    Ugh accidental repost but it’s a story that bears repeating so whatever.

  • That is Bull

    Life in prison seems to good for him.

  • http://twitter.com/Author_JGail Teflon Jawn (@Author_JGail)

    Whenever something comes up missing they immediately start looking at the closest black person. I’d put money on it that it was one of his family members that he “trusts” that stole those guns. And probably for drugs. Now an innocent boy is gone because of an out of control animal who can’t think or reason critically.

  • Pepper

    These Right Wing Nuts with guns are very very very dangerous

  • Hailey

    It’s official. I’m done with white people.

  • IslandgirlDesi

    I want him to live but suffer a slow death with terrible pain. I want his last days on earth to be painful. That SOB…..I’m done with whities!

  • http://gravatar.com/geenababe geenababe

    What the ways things are going who knows he might be found “not guilty”.

  • wake up

    Why didnt any non-black women’s groups come out to support this mother like they did when Rick Ross made his comments? Examine closely who came out to speak on your behalf when you were down and out and understand who didnt. These national womens movements havent said a single thing about this case, Trayvon or Marissa Alexander. No comfort by any womens organization or childrens rights organization outside of the black community said anything in defense or support of any of these situation.

    Stop supporting these feminist / childrens groups that dont speak up for your kids. They rally behind you when its time to condemn Rick Ross but dont say a thing when a psychopath shoots one of your kids. Dont support them.

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