Jail­ers saw killing of in­mate

Of­fi­cials: Cell­mate re­peat­edly hit, kicked man, slammed his head to the floor be­fore of­fi­cer in­ter­vened

The Dallas Morning News - - Metro & State - By TOM STEELE Staff Writer tsteele@dal­las­news.com

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

CLIN­TON SIMP­SON

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