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Man accused of murdering LSU basketball player Wayde Sims requesting trial held elsewhere due to EBR media coverage

3 years 3 months 2 weeks ago Thursday, November 05 2020 Nov 5, 2020 November 05, 2020 9:55 PM November 05, 2020 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Defense lawyers of the suspect accused of killing LSU basketball player Wayde Sims in 2018 are requesting their client's trial be moved elsewhere due to "prejudicial" media coverage in East Baton Rouge, according to recently filed court documents.

Dyeton Simpson was arrested in September of 2018 and charged with second-degree murder.

Simpson's court-appointed lawyers, Lindsay Blouin and Margaret Lagattuta, filed a change of venue motion to move the second-degree murder trial to another parish on Wednesday, Nov. 5.

"Mr. Simpson, due to ongoing prejudicial radio coverage, has been denied his presumption of innocence at trial and the work to determine which jurors have and have not been tainted in Baton Rouge is beyond local remedy. The only means by which Mr. Simpson's Constitutional rights can be preserved is a change of venue," the motion states.

In addition to traditional media coverage, Blouin and Lagattuta add that outside resources, including a popular forum devoted to LSU sports, have also hindered Simpson's chances at a fair trial. 

"The site is devoted to all things LSU sports, including regularly covering the progress of Mr. Simpson's case, and the comments on posts related to Wayde Sims and Dyeton Simpson make clear that the potential jurors of East Baton Rouge Parish have been so prejudiced by the ongoing coverage that a prevailing preformed opinion exists regarding Mr. Simpson's guilt."

Simpson, 22, remains jailed and faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison if convicted as charged.

Police say Simpson admitted to intentionally shooting Sims on Sept. 28, 2018. Simpson is accused of shooting Sims with a 9 mm pistol following a fistfight outside of a party near Southern University's campus.

Sims, 20, was shot in the neck and transported to a nearby hospital. He later succumbed to the injury.

A trial date has not yet been set. A motion hearing is scheduled for Nov. 18.

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