Deonte Simmons walked into Lincoln Circuit Court hoping for a fresh start. He filed an affadavit claiming he didn't mean it when he admitted to his role in the murders of Bo Upton and Ryan Shangraw. That took the Upton's mother by surprise.
“My first thought was, but he said, under oath, ‘I'm guilty, I did it,’” said Sherry Moore.
Simmons claims his mother pressured him into pleading guilty. But prosecutors argued that Simmons actually was given the plea deal on a Friday..and had a weekend to think over his decision..before making the plea official on a Monday.
“I think the reality was setting in. He was going to be in jail for 25 years, probably the rest of his life,” said prosecutor Eddy Montgomery.
JudgeJeffrey Burdette overruled the motion to withdraw the plea, and sentenced Simmons along with Charles E. Smith, Neccolus Mundy, and Matthew Tolson. All admitted to their roles in the murders, but Tolson's family and friends had letters for the judge asking for forgiveness.
“To the oint of asking, if God can forgive, why can't the court? Well the court can forgive, but you still must serve your sentence,” Burdett told Tolson.
None of the 4 had anything to say from the bench. Upton's mother was bothered that none of them said they were sorry.
“And even though it would not bring my son, Bo back, I did not see any remorse. I did not,” said moore.
Simmons will serve life in prison without the possibility of parole for 25 years. The others will serve a total of 20 years each.