Curtis Simms, the Alabama football fan sentenced last week to a 10-year prison term suspended to five years in the 2010 death of a USC fan, will appeal his sentence.
A Richland County jury on Feb. 5 convicted Simms, 27, of breach of peace of a high and aggravated nature, which carries a maximum 10-year sentence. The jury declined to find Simms guilty of involuntary manslaughter, which carries a maximum of five years.
Simms and the victim, Martin Gasque, 20, who didnt know each other, had a 30-second chance encounter in traffic outside Williams-Brice Stadium after a USC-Alabama football game. Trial testimony indicated Simms punched Gasque, who then fell under a friends pickup truck. The pickup then moved forward, crushing Gasque to death.
One of Simms attorneys, Greg Harris, said he is seeking a new trial but will also try to get an appeal bond set so Simms can get out of prison in the meantime.
-- John Monk