A jury in November found 24-year-old Rapheal Lamar Simmons guilty of shooting Oxford residents Barry Wright and Lorenzo Gilmer during an alleged drug deal in 2012. Wright was pronounced dead at Regional Medical Center on July 21 and Gilmer’s injury resulted in paralysis, according to assistant district attorney Randy Moeller.
Moeller, who prosecuted the case along with Sheila Field, said by phone Wednesday that the DA’s office is satisfied with the ruling.
“I think it's fair,” he said. “I spoke to the victim of the attempted murder, and he was satisfied with the sentence ... The widow was also satisfied with the sentence, but she felt sorry for the defendant’s family.”
Moeller told The Star in November that the incident took place in Gilmer’s home on Alice Street in Oxford. The prosecutor said Simmons and two other men — Cameron White and Terry Thomas — went to Gilmer’s home for a drug deal involving several ounces of crack cocaine. (Officers never found money or drugs at the scene.)
According to Moeller, Simmons went inside the home while White and Thomas stayed outside. Simmons testified during the trial that he thought the deal was going bad, so he pulled out his handgun, and Wright attacked him, Moeller said.
According to Moeller, Simmons shot Wright four times — once in his hip, his chest, his back and in the back of his leg — and Simmons shot Gilmer once in the stomach.
Efforts to reach Simmons’ attorney, David Johnston, were not immediately successful Wednesday, but he told The Star in November that Simmons felt the only way to prevent himself from being attacked and robbed was to show the gun.
Moeller said he expects to try White in March and Thomas shortly after.
Assistant Metro Editor Daniel Gaddy: 256-235-3560. On Twitter @DGaddy_Star.