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Spooner’s doctor fails to provide mental health report, trial date set

MILWAUKEE — John Spooner, the 75-year-old man accused of shooting and killing 13-year-old Darius Simmons, was in court Thursday morning, August 16th for a mental evaluation. However, the judge was unable to determine whether Spooner is mentally fit to stand trial because the doctor evaluating Spooner did not have the report ready.

Spooner’s next court date is set for September 28th. During the next hearing, two mental health evaluations will be presented — one from Spooner’s doctor and another from a court-appointed psychiatrist.

Spooner is charged with first-degree intentional homicide for allegedly shooting and killing his teenage neighbor, Simmons, over allegedly stolen guns on May 31, 2012.

Spooner is accused of confronting immons as he was taking out the trash. Spooner reported his home was burglarized and items were taken, including some shotguns.  Officials say Spooner reportedly believed “his next-door neighbor” was to blame.

According to court documents, when Simmons’ mother told Spooner her son didn’t burglarize his home, she says the man pulled out a gun and shot her son from just a few feet away on May 31st.  Investigators say Spooner admitted to shooting the boy.  Spooner was arrested immediately and remains behind bars.

Spooner’s attorney said his client does not comprehend what the crime is against him and insists that he is not guilty.  He entered an insanity plea earlier this month on his client’s behalf.

An attorney for for the victim’s family says he has his concerns about an insanity plea.

“We certainly have concerns if Mr. Spooner did suffer or does suffer from a mental disease or defect.  We believe that based on the statements made by the alderman that men with him earlier that day, before the shooting, and statements he made at the scene, that it’ll be interesting to see what the psychiatrist has to say,” said attorney John Safran.

Based upon doctors’ presentations, prosecutors will decide whether to hire their own doctors to re-evaluate Spooner.

He could face life in prison if convicted.

A trial date is set for January 14th.

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