Trial begins for suspect accused of killing LSU basketball player Wayde Sims
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The trial began Thurs., April 7, for the suspect accused of shooting and killing former LSU basketball star Wayde Sims.
The courtroom was packed for the start of the second-degree murder trial of Dyteon Simpson.
It happened back in September of 2018, after an event near Southern University on Harding Boulevard.
A social media video shows a fight breaking out between multiple people, which eventually led to Simpson allegedly pulling out a gun and shooting Sims in the facial area.
Prosecutor Jermaine Guillory gave his opening statement around 9:30 a.m., painting this incident as a murder.
“Blood was shed ladies and gentlemen.” He also said, “A life is taken unexpectedly, unjustifiably by murder.”
The prosecutor told the jury while this is not a perfect case, the evidence they’ll present will show, “His murderer, the person who did it, is among us,” said Guillory. “He is in this room and he is that man, Dyteon Simpson.”
Guillory also brought up the fact that there are multiple videos of the incident.
“Justification was absolutely there, proactive was absolutely there, and in fact, Mr. Wayde was the aggressor,” the defense countered in its opening. Adding that Wayde was not an innocent bystander and Wayde was not trying to break up the fight.
Defense attorneys argued that Simpson acted out of self-defense, “Wayde is a much larger man than Dyteon and this is by about 60 pounds and 10 inches. That’s far from a fair fight, Dyteon has a right to defend himself and the use of force he used, was justifiable.”
The defense also painted Wayde Sims as the aggressor in the fight and not their client. “Wayde was not an innocent bystander, that was not the case here. Wayde was not trying to break up the fight, that was not the case here.”
The attorneys said Dyteon had a right to defend himself under Louisiana law.
“All he knows is his life is in danger, no intent to lay Wayde down for the rest of his life. It was to defend himself and only that.” “He chose to protect himself. Should he be condemned for doing that?”, Margaret Lagattuta continued.
Faye Sims, the mother of Wayde Sims, was briefly called to the stand to testify after the opening statements.
Prosecutors brought at least six people within the Baton Rouge Police Department to the stand. Showing body camera footage immediately after the incident, that almost brought family and friends of Sims to tears in the courtroom.
Police also showed pictures of the glasses found at the scene, that investigators say linked back to Simpson.
Both the glasses and the gun investigators believe are connected to this case were presented as evidence by the prosecutors in court on Thursday.
On Wed., April 6, a warrant was issued for the arrest of one of the jurors involved in the trial after the juror did not show up at the 19th Judicial Court, as scheduled. Court documents show Will Douglas Bolton, Jr. failed to appear in court Wednesday.
Wayde Sims, 20, died at a hospital after he was shot near Southern University’s campus on September 28, 2018.
Hearings will continue on Friday, April 8. Simpson is facing a second degree murder charge.
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