One of the three people charged in the death of a Richmond woman appeared in court on Thursday. Brandon Simpson, 25, is accused of strangling Michelle Rheuport, 40, at her home in May. He has been charged with murder, burglary, and stealing.
Simpson’s attorney, Stanley Thompson, on Thursday waived additional arraignments and told the court he intended to file motions to suppress and dismiss. Thompson asked Judge J. Bartley Spear to consider taking up the motion to suppress on the same date of the preliminary hearing. “I don’t believe the state’s affidavit and probable cause are sufficient,” Thompson told Judge Spear. “I want to suppress some of the witness statements and all of his medical records.”
A motion to suppress is typically filed by defense attorneys who want to keep a panel from hearing certain incriminating statements by the defendant or from seeing damaging evidence. During a preliminary hearing, a prosecutor will present evidence to show the judge that there is probable cause to believe a crime was committed. Victims and/or witnesses can be asked to testify at that time. Based on the statements and documents submitted, the judge can either dismiss a case or have it be bound over to circuit court.
Ray County Prosecutor Danielle Rogers countered Thompson’s request, saying that he should file his motions prior to setting the date of a preliminary hearing. “The state has the burden of proof. Speaking in hypotheticals makes it difficult for us to present a case. I’m willing to discuss this when a motion is filed,” Rogers said.
Thompson’s motions are expected to be submitted by early next week. Simpson’s case was set aside until Oct. 18 at 9:00 a.m.
Rogers also revealed on Thursday that the prosecution has enlisted the help of Assistant Attorney General Susan Boresi. She will be asked to attend the October hearing.
Simpson is being held in lieu of $1 million.