PICKENS, S.C. (AP) — Mike Simpson cried as his wife was sentenced to life in prison for killing their children in their South Carolina home. He has one of the bullets fired still in his skull, but he has lost almost all his memories of his 7-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son.
A jury found Suzanna Simpson, 38, guilty of two counts of murder Thursday along with attempted murder for trying to kill her husband. Circuit Judge Brian Gibbons immediately handed down the harshest sentence he could, saying Simpson deserved it.
All the while, Mike Simpson, in a wheelchair and with almost no short-term memory, dabbed away tears. His mother told the judge he was an amazing fighter, surviving not just more than one gunshot to his head, but the unimaginable grief of losing his kids and becoming dependent on others.
“His whole family has been taken away from him,” Allison Simpson said.
A year before the latest killings, Suzanna Simpson spent six days in the hospital for severe mental illness and her doctors urged her husband to get all of the guns out of their house for safety.
But about a year later, Simpson woke up at 4 a.m., put on a headband with a small light, worked the combination on the gun safe and ambushed her husband, and their 7-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son as they slept. She said she tried to kill herself but loaded the wrong ammunition in the gun. Simpson told a psychiatrist she thought the whole family would be reincarnated in a better world.
Simpson had little reaction after being sent away for life, mouthing “bye” to what’s left of her family as she walked out of court. Psychiatrists said she is on medication to treat bipolar disorder and other conditions.