Convicted murderer R. Gene Simmons, who has asked to be swiftly executed, had hoped for the death penalty from the outset and mounted a defense only because it was his best chance to get it, his attorney says.
"We got what he wanted," defense attorney John C. Harris said. Simmons, 47, was convicted of capital murder on Thursday and sentenced to die for gunning down two people in Russellville on Dec. 28. He still faces charges of killing 14 members of his family during the Christmas holidays.After the jury recommended lethal injection, Simmons shocked Judge John S. Patterson by publicly forsaking his right to appeal.
"His mind was made up from the outset. For weeks and months we have had this bottled up inside of us," Simmons' lawyer said Thursday night.
In a brief statement read to the court, Simmons asked that his execution "be carried out expeditiously. I want no action that will delay, deny, defer or denounce this very correct and proper death sentence."
Simmons was found guilty of capital murder, five counts of attempted capital murder and first-degree false imprisonment in connection with the Dec. 28 shooting spree. The jury deliberated less than 11/2 hours before finding him guilty and another two hours before recommending the death penalty.
Patterson, following the recommendation, sentenced Simmons to die and to 147 years in prison on the other charges.
Simmons is to stand trial in July in the deaths of his wife, four daughters, three sons, two spouses of children, three grandchildren and a child officials said Simmons fathered by his oldest daughter. All had been shot or strangled.
Killed in the Russellville shootings were Kathy Kendrick, 24, who reportedly had spurned Simmons' advances a year before the shooting, and James Chaffin, 33, described by police as a chance victim. Miss Kendrick was shot at the law office where she worked. Chaffin was shot at an oil company.