30 years in prison for man convicted in death of pregnant woman reported missing

Shanta Pearson

WEST ALLIS — A man convicted in connection with the death of a woman who was reported missing from West Allis in May of 2016 has been sentenced to prison.

Shanta Pearson, 47, of Milwaukee on May pleaded guilty to two charges — kidnapping/seize or confine without consent and robbery of a financial institution. In court on Friday, Sept. 28, Pearson was sentenced to serve 15 years in prison and 10 years extended supervision on each count, to be served consecutively, for a total of 30 years in prison and 20 years extended supervision.

Tess White, Tiffany Simmons

Additionally, Pearson was ordered to pay more than $5,700 in restitution.

Tess White’s body was found on May 17, 2016, three days after she was reported missing by family. The 10-week pregnant White was found to have been burned and dumped in a field in Grant County, South Dakota.

Prosecutors say Pearson was caught on camera robbing a bank eight days before White was reported missing. Pearson was arrested on May 11, 2016 during a traffic stop in Colorado. The driver, Tiffany Simmons, 38, was also arrested.

Simmons later confessed to torturing and killing White in a West Allis parking lot. This, after White had allegedly been “pinching their dope bag,” and a fight ensued. Pearson told investigators he tied White up, and left the women in the West Allis parking lot. Simmons said she then put out cigarettes on White’s skin, punched her and suffocated her with plastic bags.

Tiffany Lynn Simmons, Shanta Pearson, Tess White

Simmons in March of 2018 pleaded guilty to one count of first degree intentional homicide, as party to a crime, and one count of kidnapping/seize or confine forcibly without consent, as party to a crime. In June, she was sentenced to serve life in prison and ordered to pay more than $7,000 in restitution.