Violent turn in promising life stuns neighbors of Dacusville woman

Greenville NewsMay 16, 2013 

The woman who was charged with murdering her two young children and trying to kill her husband in Dacusville on Tuesday grew up on a quiet street in a nice suburban neighborhood in Taylors, family and friends say.

Before she was arrested on what officials say could be death-penalty charges, 'Anna,'as she is called by friends, graduated from Eastside High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in finance from Winthrop University in 2001, college officials and friends say.

Autopsies performed Wednesday showed that both of her children, Carly Ashelyn Simpson, 7, and Sawyer Russell Simpson, 5, died from multiple gunshot wounds. They were found in their beds.

Pickens County Coroner Kandy Kelley said it will take about six to eight weeks to get the results of tests back.

Anna Simpson, 35, and her husband Michael, 34, both remained at Greenville Memorial Hospital late Wednesday. He was listed in critical condition, and she was in serious condition.

The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office wouldn’t release the nature of their injuries other than that Michael Simpson suffers from life-threatening wounds sustained from gunshots. His family couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday.

Chief Deputy Creed Hashe said handguns were recovered from the home. He said the Sheriff’s Office wouldn’t release other details about the weapons.

“We collected several guns from the residence, but there will have to be forensic, ballistic testing to determine what role those weapons may have played,” Hashe said.

Greenville County records show the couple married on June 19, 2004. At the time, Michael Simpson was 25 and lived in Greenville. His wife, listed as Suzanna Louise Brown on the marriage license, was 26 and lived in Taylors.

In 1995, Brown, a rising senior at Eastside High, sailed in the Bahamas, where she was one of 16 students from Greenville studying ocean animal and plant life.

“I’m really excited,” she told The Greenville News before leaving on the eight-day trip. “I’ve always wanted to do this.”

The trip was the brainchild of Fanya Paouris, a marine science teacher at Wade Hampton High School at the time. A year earlier, Paouris took a similar trip with a group of teachers studying at the University of South Carolina. Paouris couldn’t be reached to comment Wednesday.

Pickens County property records show the couple bought their home on Cherokee Trail, where the shootings occurred, in 2004.

The family kept chickens, neighbors said.

Anna Simpson grew up on Bendingwood Circle, in a well-kept neighborhood behind Northwood Middle School and not far from Eastside High.

Her parents couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday.

Neighbors said they were stunned by the news.

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