Simpson court hearing delayed at request of defense

Greenville NewsMay 22, 2013 

An arraignment hearing scheduled for Tuesday for Suzanna Brown Simpson, the Dacusville woman charged last week with murder in the deaths of her two children and attempted murder of her husband, was canceled at the last minute at the request of the public defender’s office.

Pickens County Magistrate Ben Dow received a formal request asking that the arraignment be waived, according to Chief Deputy Creed Hashe of the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office.

John Mauldin, 13th Circuit public defender, couldn’t be reached for comment Tuesday.

Cancellation of the hearing will have no effect on the case, Hashe said.

“Really and truly it doesn’t mean a whole lot for us,” he told GreenvilleOnline.com. “She’s still here in the detention facility here at the Sheriff’s Office.”

“It’s just like any other case. It’ll run its normal channels through the judicial system at this point,” he said. “At some point she most likely will be scheduled for a preliminary hearing, if she requests one.”

That would determine if the charges should be presented to the grand jury.

“And that would be sometimes weeks, months on down the line, just like every other case.” Hashe said.

Authorities haven’t revealed many details about the May 14 incident, saying it’s a potential death penalty case and they don’t want to jeopardize the prosecution of it.

Simpson was released from Greenville Memorial Hospital late Monday, Hashe said. She had been in the hospital under guard since last Tuesday after crashing a truck near her home soon after the children and her husband were shot, he said.

Her husband, Michael, remained hospitalized in critical condition Tuesday, officials said.

A 35-year-old native of Taylors and graduate of Eastside High School and Winthrop University, Simpson has been charged in the deaths of her daughter, Carly, 7 and son, Sawyer, 5.

The children were found in their beds with fatal gunshot wounds at the family’s home at 307 Cherokee Trail, Easley, a half mile from their school, Dacusville Elementary.

Their father also was shot. Details of his injuries haven’t been released but they are said to be life-threatening.

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