BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – The jury found Dyteon Simpson guilty of second-degree murder on Monday afternoon.
Simpson’s sentencing is scheduled for June 13th.
Simpson is accused of killing Sims in September of 2018 while outside of a fraternity house. After a fight broke out, Simpson allegedly shot Sims in the face with a semi-automatic handgun.
“In three seconds we lost a very good young man that was well known and well like our community,” said District Attorney Hillar Moore. “But this case, as we indicated, was not just about him. It was about the facts that happened, was about bringing a gun to a fistfight.”
On Monday prosecutors and the defense wrapped up their testimony and each presented closing arguments to the jury. According to NBC 33/Fox 44 reporter Ariel Salk, Simpson did not take the stand in his own defense.
Emotions in the courtroom were heavy when jurors came to a quick verdict after deliberating for a few hours.
“They were convinced beyond a reasonable doubt with a twelve zero verdict that this was the only appropriate verdict in this case,” said Moore.
“No verdict would ever bring Wayde back,” said Wayde’s father, Wayne Sims. “You know we miss him dearly, and, you know, wish we never would have had to go down this road.”
The defense argued Simpson was acting in self-defense and his actions were justified. But after reviewing the evidence from the prosecution, the jury found him guilty.
“We are satisfied with the verdict, and we just hope that we can just get this behind us and live one day at a time the best we can,” Wayne Sims said.
Family and friends filled the courtroom in support of Sims, including former basketball coach Will Wade. Wayde’s mother, Fay Sims, is thankful so many showed up for her son.
“First, I just want to thank God, I give God all of the glory, and then second, I just want to thank the three F’s. I’ve always said family, friends, and fans,” Fay said.
Second-degree murder has a minimum of life behind bars, but the judge has scheduled Simpson’s sentencing hearing for June 13. The Sims family will have an opportunity to give a victim’s impact statement.
On Friday, two experts in the forensic science field were called to the bench to testify to the DNA evidence found on the glasses and Simpson’s hands. According to one expert, blood was found on Simpson’s right hand. The second expert testified both Sims and Simpson’s DNA were found on Simpson’s hand.
During testimony last week, the defense told jurors they are not denying that Simpson shot Sims but argued that it was justified.
Fay and Wayne Sims, Wayde Sims’ parents, have created the Wayde Sims Foundation to raise money for causes they believe their son would have supported, according to a family friend.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.