Rebecca Simpson



It is cases such as this one that reminds me just how stupid criminals are and the lengths that they will go to cover their own behinds. Rebecca Simpson had it all. She was the wife of a prominent, well respected attorney in the small town of Bridgeport Texas. She had anything money could buy and raised her children in a well manicured, luxury home. She had even had a boyfriend for several years that apparently had gone undetected, until it seems she decided that his wife needed to die and he needed to suffer also.

Prosecutors would later claim that the motive behind Rebecca looking to hire someone to kill Shermane Watts and beat up her husband, Danny, came after a newspaper article in the small town paper highlighted a public argument that Rebecca had with Shermane. Reports were that Rebecca approached Shermane at the gym owned by Danny and that she had announced to her that she had been having an affair with Danny. Rebecca held a lot of clout in the small town and many say that she always expected to get exactly what she wanted and it seems that she still wanted Danny, all to herself. Rebecca was not used to people standing up to her but Shermane did just that. It appears that punches were thrown but it does not sound as if any arrests were made, but the newspaper got wind of it and considering her standing, and likely the fact Bridgeport was so small, the story made the front page in October of 2004.

Soon after the confrontation she met a man named Kevin Cash who was a security guard. According to Cash she approached him about self defense classes and possibly looking into vandalizing the Watts' vehicles. These two claims Rebecca admits to. It was what followed that she disputed. Cash would later testify that at some point the idea was brought up by Rebecca to have Shermane Watts killed and Danny Watts beaten up and that at the point in which Cash believed Rebecca to be serious he contacted the local authorities. It was then that an undercover officer was put on the case and met with Rebecca. The two had two meetings, on October 26th and 28th, that were recorded and later shown to a jury.

In June of 2006 Rebecca Simpson went on trial and charged with solicitation of capital murder. Her husband filed for divorce soon after her arrest. As is the situation in many trials the prosecution and the defense had different ideas as to what occurred prior to the crime being committed. One area in which all agree is that Rebecca Simpson began an affair with Danny Watts in late 1999 or early 2000 when they met at a gym that he owned in Bridgeport. In June of 2003 Danny would marry Shermane but the affair apparently continued. It appears that the affair last until September of 2004 but it is unclear how or who ended the affair. Although I never found anything that stated that Danny Watts was the one to end the affair, a majority of cases that progress as this one did indicated that it was likely his choice. What we do know is that the following month Rebecca Simpson is confronting his wife at the gym and she's announcing the affair to her. This sound much like a scorned woman. However, Rebecca would tell the undercover officer, as well as the court later, that in September of 2004 she had confronted Danny Watts about what she says she considered the “propositioning” of her sixteen year old daughter. She would claim that after that time that both of the Watts would begin threatening her and her family.

As far as these allegations against Danny Watts pertaining to Rebecca's daughter, I could find nothing that led to this conclusion aside from the words of Rebecca. I found nothing that showed any sort of proof of these allegations nor did I hear of any testimony presented that spoke of the supposed propositioning nor the threats made. My research indicated that she told someone she had contacted the police and nothing was done but again I found no proof that the authorities were even contacted about the supposed threats. To be fair, even if there was evidence that there had been a filing made with the police, the fact that nothing was done would indicate that the allegations were unfounded. The fact that the Simpson's were so prominent in the community leads me to believe that if there were threats being made as she has alleged that the police would have been contacted. Even if the threats were not true and yet Rebecca wanted to get back at the Watts' I feel that the police would have been contacted. However, my research indicates that this was only first mentioned to the undercover officer, who Rebecca believed to be a hit man as she was preparing a defense for her actions.

In the videos that were shown to the jury Rebecca Simpson can be found telling the supposed hit man that she wanted Shermane Watts' murder to look like a suicide. She indicated that she wanted her wrists slit and wanted to ensure that she would not be rescued by anyone before she had a chance to die. She also wanted Danny Watts beaten up and it looked like a drug deal gone wrong. She agreed to pay $3,000 to make this happen. After making the deal and exchanging money Rebecca Simpson was arrested.

At her trial her defense attorney attempted to make Kevin Cash look like the instigator. Despite Cash's testimony Rebecca would testify that it was Cash who came up with the idea for the murder, telling her that would permanently solve her problems. Rebecca would claim that she attempted to tell Cash this was not what she wanted but that he would not listen. When confronted with the video evidence and the comments she made she insisted that Cash told her if she did not go through with the plan that the man would become angry and harm her family so she had met with the supposed hit man. She would go on to insist that she had no intention of allowing the hit man to follow through with the plan and intended to stop it before anyone was harmed.

The jury would find her guilty of solicitation of murder and the judge would sentence her to twenty-five years, but that was not the end of the story. It seems that prosecutors had offered Rebecca a five year sentence if she pleaded guilty to the charges. According to the prosecutor they repeatedly offered this to the defense and were turned down. It was the belief of the prosecutor that Rebecca never would have accepted a plea in which required her to serve jail time. However, whether true or not, apparently the courts believed that Rebecca's attorney never told her of the plea deal that was offered and when she appealed her sentence she used the standby argument of “inefficient counsel” and the courts agreed. They overruled her conviction and ordered a new trial. At this point the prosecutors still offered the original deal and Rebecca took it this time.


The Texas Department of Corrections only show current incarcerated inmates and does not list crimes of those who have been released so I cannot say for sure when Rebecca was released from prison but it appears it was sometime in 2011 based on my research.

Comments

  1. Extreme jealousy is (IMHO and the opinion of others; see: Othello Syndrome) a form of mental illness that causes otherwise good people to do the unimaginable. Sounds like that's what Rebecca was afflicted with.

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