Baker man convicted in 2018 of killing LSU basketball player Wayde Sims | Courts

A Baker man accused of shooting LSU basketball player Wayde Sims to death during a street fight in 2018 right on the Southern University campus was convicted Monday of second-degree murder, resulting in a mandatory life sentence in prison.

Dyteon Simpson, 23, did not testify in his own defense during his trial. His lawyers rested their case earlier Monday without summoning witnesses.

Authorities said Simpson shot Sims in the face with a 9mm pistol with an extended magazine after Sims, 20, intervened during a fistfight on Harding Boulevard to defend a friend outside a fraternity party just off the south campus on the 28th. September 2018.

The jury saw three videos of the fight and the shooting for the first time Friday. Prosecutors played these videos on Monday before resting their case.

Sim’s parents, Wayne and Fay Sims, gave lengthy hugs to prosecutors Jermaine Guillory and Michelle Lacoste after the East Baton Rouge Parish jury’s unanimous verdict was announced. Wayne Sims played basketball at LSU under then-coach Dale Brown in the late 1980s.

The recently fired LSU basketball coach Will Wade spent the entire day in the courtroom Monday, sitting three rows behind Wayne and Fay Sims. He said he was there to support the family.

Fay Sims wore a black and white bracelet that said “Wayde” with a heart and “#Forever 44”, which was Wayde Sims’ number at LSU.

“We miss him and love Wayde so much,” Fay Sims, outside state District Judge Will Jordan’s 19th courtroom, told the court. “Dyteon got what God wanted him to have. That was all I asked for.”

Wayde Sims starred at University High before playing at LSU.

Simpson was represented by the East Baton Rouge Parish Public Defense Office.

“It’s a loss for both sides, two lives lost,” Lisa Parker, the parish’s top public defender, said afterwards.

East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore III said the jury of eight women and four men worked extremely hard on a very emotional case. The panel discussed for about 90 minutes.

“This was far from an easy matter,” he said. “We are happy for the family that they received justice.”

Simpson will be formally convicted on June 13.

Guillory told the jury in his opening statement last week that Sims’ killing was murder, but defense attorney Hunter Thomas called it the justified killing.

On Monday, Lacoste showed a photograph of a smiling Sim to the jury, arguing to the panel that Simpson could not rely on the defense for a justified killing because he put himself in the fight with a gun.

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“It is clear that the defendant has no right to use this defense,” she said. “Putting yourself into a fight with this gun makes you the aggressor.”

Sims, she added, was not the aggressor because he was trying to defend a friend.

“Wayde Sims family deserves justice; society and the state demand justice, ”Lacoste said.

She reminded the jury that DNA evidence taken from a pair of glasses found at the scene matched a DNA sample that Simpson gave to investigators. The glasses were struck by the shooter’s face during the fight, according to testimony contained in an arrest report.

Margaret Lagattuta, who also represents Simpson, told the jury on Monday that her client was essentially blind when his glasses fell to the ground. She also reminded the panel that the Sims were 6-foot-6 and 60 pounds heavier than the 5-foot-8 Simpson.

“6-foot-6 against 5-foot-8. Blind. Can’t see,” she said. “Is that a fair fight? Is it?”

Lagattuta also referred to Simpson as a “skinny little kid” and said he “looks a bit like Urkel”, whose real name is Jaleel White, the nerdy or nerdy character on the former TV sitcom Family Matters.

“Athlete vs. Urkel. Trained athlete versus Urkel,” she said. “Wayde is not afraid to go after him. Do not you think Wayde Sims saw that gun? He was not afraid of that gun.”

Lagattuta claimed Simpson is not guilty. “At worst, it’s negligent homicide,” she said.

Prosecutor Jermaine Guillory disagreed with the state’s rejection argument, saying the Sims were shot down “unfairly”.

Guillory said it was a member of Simpson’s group who struck the first blow at Sims’ friend.

“The only time Wayde struck a blow is when someone threw a blow at him or his friend,” he said.

Sims’ response, Guillory added, was reasonable and proportionate, “meeting power with power.”

He said Simpson “should win that battle in all necessary ways, fair or unfair.”

“The gun always wins,” he said. “This would never be a fair fight. He (Simpson) would never lose this fight.”

Simpson was arrested in Sims’ murder while driving in the front passenger seat of his girlfriend’s car the next day. A 9mm pistol with an extended magazine found under the seat matched the bullet found from the Sims’ body and a grenade casing found from the shooting scene, prosecutors said.

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