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Jury seated in murder case involving LSU basketball star; trial testimony starts Thursday

4 months 1 week 2 days ago Wednesday, April 06 2022 Apr 6, 2022 April 06, 2022 12:30 PM April 06, 2022 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - A man charged with murdering LSU basketball prodigy Wayde Sims during a street fight will go to trial over three years after the killing.

Jury selection in Dyteon Simpson's case wrapped up Wednesday, about three days after the process began at the 19th Judicial District Court. Opening statements are slated to begin Thursday morning.

The trial has been waylaid by a combination of COVID delays, a change of judges and attempts by Simpson's defense to move the trial out of East Baton Rouge.

"The question is, can particular jurors set aside whatever it is they heard and only base their decision on evidence and the facts. That's what the judge will ask all the potential jurors, and I'm sure that we'll be able to seat a fair jury," District Attorney Hillar Moore said. "We've had many many cases in the city of Baton Rouge that has received a lot of publicity much more than this case and we've been able to seat juries."

Simpson was arrested in September 2018 after he allegedly gunned down Sims just off Southern University's campus. Police said Sims was shot after he tried to intervene in the brawl, which broke out as crowds were leaving an on-campus concert.

Video of the fight and the deadly shooting circulated on social media and ultimately helped investigators identify Simpson as the gunman. That video will be a key piece of evidence in prosecutors' case against Simpson.

"I think both sides will be well represented. This defendant is presumed innocent until, unless proven guilty, and we look forward to our opportunity to provide the facts of this case and seek justice for Mr. Wayde and his family," Moore said.

Simpson has remained jailed for the past several years as he awaited trial for second-degree murder. Simpson's attorney fought for his release in 2019, arguing that his family—including Simpson's infant son—was struggling without him.

A judge opted to keep him in jail at the time, and he's remained in custody since.

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