A gun handed to authorities by a man accused of killing 14 members of his family was the same one that fired the bullets that killed several victims, a firearms expert testified Friday.
Burwin Monroe of the state Crime Lab in Little Rock testified on the fifth day of the trial of R. Gene Sim-mons, 48, who is accused of murder in the 14 slayings.Monroe cited tests that showed a .22-caliber revolver Simmons had when he surrendered after a 40-minute shooting rampage in Russell-ville on Dec. 28, 1987, fired the shots that killed his wife, eldest son, and others whose bodies were found that day in Simmons' house or the next day in a nearby grave.
On Thursday, defense and state attorneys blamed each other for leaking a statement to the press in which Simmons said he would see his eldest daughter in hell.
Simmons made the remark about Sheila Marie McNulty, 24, in a written statement found in his safe-deposit box in a bank in Russellville.
Simmons also apparently refers to Mrs. McNulty's husband, Dennis McNulty, 33, in the note.
"You have destroyed me," Sim-mons wrote. "I do not want D. to set foot on my property. He turned you against me. You want me out of your life. I will be out of your life. I will see you in hell."
A three-page transcript of Sim-mons' five-page handwritten statement was published in Thursday editions of the Arkansas Democrat, a Little Rock newspaper.
The bodies of the McNultys and 12 other members of Simmons' family were found at his home on Dec. 28 and Dec. 29, 1987, following Sim-mons' arrest for a shooting rampage in Russellville that left two people dead. Simmons was sentenced to death for the two Russellville killings last year and has tried to waive appeals of his death sentence, saying he wants to die.