Jailers saw killing of inmate
Officials: Cellmate repeatedly hit, kicked man, slammed his head to the floor before officer intervened
The man accused of killing an alleged child molester in the Tarrant County jail this week hit the elderly man, kicked him and slammed his head into the ground a total of 80 times in an attack captured on video, authorities say.
David Faustino Flores, 42, of Fort Worth faces a murder charge in the death Wednesday of 76-yearold Clinton Don Simpson. Flores, who was already in custody on a charge of injury to a child, elderly or disabled person, remained at the jail, with bail set at $50,000.
Simpson, of Keller, died of blunt force injuries to the head just after 3 a.m. Wednesday, according to the Tarrant County medical examiner’s office.
The Tarrant County Sheriff ’s Department said Friday that Flores and Simpson were both being housed in the medical unit at the Lon Evans Corrections Center in downtown Fort Worth. The pair, who were due to see medical and mental-health professionals, were the only two inmates in a four-person cell.
According to a timeline of events released by the sheriff’s office and an arrest-warrant affidavit based on witnesses’ accounts and video footage, a detention officer performed a suicide-watch check at 2:15 a.m. Wednesday.
Seven minutes later, Simpson — who was in a wheelchair — was at the cell’s door and “appeared to be yelling and motioning toward the staff,” the affidavit says. Flores then began to beat Simpson as a detention officer and two nurses watched, it says.
Flores walked up to Simpson and punched him in the head about 20 times, leading the officer to call for emergency help, the affidavit says. He then went back and sat on his bunk.
But as soon as Simpson moved his head, Flores walked back to him and hit him six times with one fist, 28 times with both fists and five more times with one fist, the affidavit says. The attack continued as Simpson fell out of his wheelchair, with Flores grabbing his head and slamming his face onto the concrete floor 14 times, the document says.
At 2:23 a.m. — one minute after the beginning of the attack — an officer went into the cell to separate the inmates, the sheriff’s office said. Flores managed to kick Simpson half a dozen times and punch him once more, according to the affidavit.
Simpson was rushed to John Peter Smith Hospital, where he died.
Simpson had faced 10 counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child, three counts of indecency by fondling and one count of continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14.
Police began investigating in 2007 when the parents of a 3-year-old girl reported that Simpson, then a preacher at Haslet Church of Christ, had sexually assaulted the girl as she rode a miniature train at Mr. Don’s Whistle Stop, in his backyard.
The number of accusers eventually grew to 12.
Simpson was placed on house arrest at first, then sent to a state hospital in 2009 after he was found incompetent to stand trial.
Court records show that he was repeatedly found incompetent in the years that followed, until a bench warrant was issued to return him to the Tarrant County jail in late June.
The Tarrant County Sheriff ’s Department is conducting an internal investigation after Simpson’s death while the Texas Rangers conduct the criminal investigation.
DAVID FAUSTINO FLORES