Judge declines motion for mistrial in Simmons case

Jeff DeGrow, left, and suspect Brandon Simmons
Jeff DeGrow, left, and suspect Brandon Simmons

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) – New evidence was released in court Thursday in the case against a man accused of shooting a Charleston County deputy. Brandon Simmons is accused of shooting former deputy Jeff DeGrow in January.

On Thursday, the prosecution called a number of detectives and experts to talk about evidence found in relation to the shooting investigation.

The prosecution brought out a black and a camouflage colored coverall suit found at the defendant's home and then a matching coverall that had been disposed of for the past year in the woods near the incident scene.

They also called up a forensic expert who testified that Brandon Simmons had gun residue on his jacket.

The new evidence was presented to help corroborate stories and DeGrow's account of what happened to him, which he shared with the jury Wednesday.

Simmons' public defenders also had their second motion for mistrial rejected Thursday. The motion came after Detective Derek Boyd testified that Simmons was found wearing a striped polo shirt and baggy khaki pants. Former deputy Jeff DeGrow testified a day earlier that Simmons was wearing all black at the time of the shooting.

However, Boyd also said Simmons had on a pair of black jeans underneath the khaki pants and was carrying a black jacket when deputies found him.

A cab driver testified Thursday that he saw the suspect the day after the shooting on Riverland Drive of James Island. Sheriff's deputy Colin Moore testified that on Jan. 22 he found Simmons hiding in a car "crouched on the floor board."

A forensics expert testified that gun powder residue was found on Simmons' jacket, but could not establish when it got there. Forensics expert SLED agent John Roberts told the jury there was also gunshot residue found on clothing worn by two other men -- Akeem Simmons and Curtis Williams -- who are also charged in connection to the shooting.

It was an emotional day in court Wednesday as DeGrow took the stand. Last January, DeGrow was in pursuit of burglary suspects on James Island, when he was shot multiple times by one of the suspects, leaving him blind in his right eye.

Almost a year after the incident, Simmons is on trial, charged with assault and battery with intent to kill.

DeGrow is now retired from the sheriff's office. He still has bullet fragments in his jaw from the shooting.

He also picked Simmons out of a lineup, saying he was 100 percent sure he was the shooter.

If found guilty, Simmons could face up to 25 years in prison.

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