by WES FERGUSON
Presiding Judge Bill Henry found Buda murder suspect Mark David Simmons in contempt of court Thursday for ignoring his repeated orders to refrain from irrelevant testimony.
Henry dismissed the jury members for the long Easter weekend at 4:30 p.m. and ordered that Simmons’ direct testimony would not continue next week.
When the trial resumes Monday morning, it will begin with Simmons under cross examination from prosecutors.
Largely ignoring Henry’s orders during his afternoon of diatribes against government harassment, Simmons also condemned the district attorney’s office for its handling of his case and seemed to ask the jury to declare a mistrial.
“There hasn’t been an honest investigation here, and there hasn’t been an honest presentation of the facts here,” he said. “I’m not afraid to face prison, and I’m not begging for mercy. But I believe the jury should hand this thing back to them and let’s hear all the facts.”
Simmons said it was obvious he shot his friend in self-defense.
“It was unfortunate what happened, and it was not my intention to murder Steven or steal his stuff or anything,” he said. “I gave away more stuff than I took. … The charges of arson I admit to. I tried to cover it up. I just decided to run.”
WES FERGUSON is editor of the Hays Free Press where this story was originally published.Email | Print