Friday, August 23, 2013

Killer fails to show for sentencing; sheriff calls Judge Simes' release of defendant 'idiotic'

Posted By on Fri, Aug 23, 2013 at 2:08 PM

click to enlarge 'IDIOTIC': Sheriff's description of Judge L.T. Simes decision.
  • 'IDIOTIC': Sheriff's description of Judge L.T. Simes decision.
Interesting case reported today in the Forrest City Times Herald

Anthony Antwan Millbrooks, who pleaded guilty Aug. 12 to manslaughter in the shooting death of Roosevelt Willis, did not return to court Thursday morning for a sentencing hearing.

Judge L. T. Simes had freed Millbrooks following his guilty plea and pronouncement of a 22-year sentence until a  hearing this week.

Prosecuting Attorney Fletcher Long had objected to the release of Millbrooks and Sheriff Bobby May is quoted in the newspaper as calling the decision "idiotic."

“When we heard that Judge Simes had done this, we knew it was a mistake,” May said. “He had been in jail for two and a half years. Myself and every other deputy in this department knew he wasn’t going to return. It was an idiotic decision.”

“This man is a murderer, and now we have to go look for him,” May continued. “It is possibly a dangerous situation for our deputies or any other law enforcement agency in our country. He knows he’s facing prison time, and now that time will be longer. I’ve never heard of anything like this being allowed to happen.

“If something happens because of this, it’s on the judge’s shoulders,” added May.

A bench warrant has been issued for Millbrooks' arrest. Asked by the newspaper for comment, Simes said:

“There was a lot of conversation about it, and I decided to release him. I did not think it would be a problem. It was a judgement call that I made.” 

The back story is that this comes amid intense feuding involving some of the same people and ongoing investigation of public corruption in the Delta. Simes has refused to accept a decision by Long not to prosecute a murder case in Phillips County for lack of evidence. He took the extraordinary step of naming a special prosecutor, a power that many believe is outside the judge's power. (It's a simple separation of powers issue.) Simes has said he was motivated in part by the fact that an informant in the Delta Blues drug and corruption investigation had alleged that a deputy prosecutor in themurder case had been investigated for taking payoffs. Long later noted that Simes himself likely had been investigated, as had many others. The deputy prosecutor has not been charged or identified as a suspect.

Simes also has had multiple brushes with the state judicial ethics panel, which has twice recommended his removal from the bench. The Supreme Court suspended him once, but declined to remove him. 

Tags: , , , , ,


Speaking of...

Comments (3)

Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • TGIF and the video report

    Here's an open line along with the mid-afternoon news and comment.
    • Oct 21, 2016
  • How about cheese dip for lunch Saturday?

    Big day in Little Rock tomorrow, what with the Race for the Cure hordes on the street. What's for lunch?How about the World Cheese Dip Championship from noon to 3 p.m. in the River Market Pavilion.
    • Oct 21, 2016
  • States say 'nyet' to Russian election monitors

    The Tulsa World has reported that election officials have rejected requests from the Russian consulate in Houston to have Russians observe U.S. voting Nov. 8 in Louisiana, Texas and Oklahoma.
    • Oct 21, 2016
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • State Board of Education chair says school legislation a surprise. Also: Walton-paid lobbyist introduced to facts

    A KUAR report on the pending legislation backed by Walton-funded lobbyists to allow private companies to run parts or all of the former Little Rock School District includes some second thoughts from Little Rock lawyer Sam Ledbetter, chair of the state Board of Education.
    • Mar 12, 2015
  • Rep. Nate Bell blasts adoption story before seeing it; 'rehoming' bill introduced

    Response to our story about rehoming and adoption has been overwhelmingly positive, with one exception. Rep. Nate Bell (R-Mena) has informed me that writing this story makes me the predator and Justin Harris the victim. I'm hellbound, apparently.
    • Mar 4, 2015
  • State Police issues statement on Jason Rapert 'threats'

    The State Police have issued a minor clarification in what appears to be an effort to soothe an enraged Sen. Jason Rapert, exposed here as overly excited about both a Conway parking lot question from a constituent as well as some inflammatory Internet rhetoric that he's interpreted as a dire threat on his life. State cops took his reports seriously, they say. But in the end, they found nothing actionable.
    • Sep 15, 2015

Most Shared

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments



© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation