Five days after a judge signed an eviction order requested by her mother and on the day she’d been given a 24-hour notice to leave, a 31-year-old woman shot and killed her 66-year-old father in her family’s Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, home before attempting to cover it up, police say.
Brittany Simpson has been charged with murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime after shots were fired early Tuesday, and her father Robert Simpson was found with a bullet in his chest.
Other family members who were at the home awoke to the sounds of gunshots.
Susan Simpson, Robert Simpson’s wife and Brittany Simpson’s mother, Brooke Simpson, the sister of the accused, and Brooke’s boyfriend all ran downstairs to find a bloody scene.
According to the Post and Courier, Brittany Simpson walked through the front door after the shooting, claimed she was at the gym, blamed the shooting on an intruder and blamed her mother for leaving the doors unlocked.
“Why did you leave the doors unlocked?” she said.
Although Robert Simpson was still alive when emergency responders got to the house, he did not make it.
It didn’t take long for the truth to come out.
A neighbor spotted a woman running to the dock behind the family’s home, a woman the neighbor said was either Brittany or Brooke Simpson. Soon after, police found a gun and Brittany Simpson’s clothes tied to a pink dumbbell in a creek behind the house.
It was the same gun she had stored in her bedroom. The clothes were the same ones she was wearing in surveillance video from earlier that morning.
When Brooke Simpson spoke with police, she mentioned that her sister had been evicted and was supposed to leave that day, bringing a possible motive into focus.
ABC News 4 reported that Brittany Simpson’s mother asked a judge in March to evict her daughter and that an eviction order was signed on May 4.
Another sister, Chelsea Simpson, said her sister was unstable.
Simpson’s attorney, David Aylor, said that his client has been unemployed due to a disability, but he would not elaborate on it further. It was also revealed that his client did not pay rent and helped cover utility costs until March.
“This is a tragedy that has affected their entire family,” he said. “Right now we’re trying to gain more information to determine what the next step should be.”
A family friend begged Simpson to tell the truth when she appeared before a judge Wednesday.
“Your family and everybody involved in this situation just hopes that you’ll tell the truth. It’s time to tell the truth and be honest. Honesty will set you free,” she said.
Police say that Simpson confessed to the murder. She has been denied bond.
There will be visitation hours for Robert Simpson at J. Henry Stuhr Mount Pleasant Chapel on May 20, 2017, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
In his obituary, he was described as a man with a “positive outlook on life, sense of humor and […] the ‘life of the party.'”
He is survived by his parents, wife of 36 years, four children and one step-son.