MOSES LAKE, Washington - Court documents reveal the Moses Lake man accused of murdering his mother confessed to the killing in an interview with police officers.
Moses Lake Police arrested Jack Simmons, 56, early Monday after an anonymous call lead them to the home he shared with his mom, 88-year-old Edna Simmons, on the 1400 block of Sunset Drive. Dispatchers with 911 also got a call from Jack, a few minutes later, saying that his mom had died. Police said they were immediately suspicious because they found a large amount of blood inside the home and believe her body had been moved.
On Monday, Grant County Coroner Craig Morrison confirmed Edna died of blunt force trauma to her head and stomach. Simmons faces second-degree murder charges.
KHQ obtained the incident report from the Moses Lake Police Department which details Jack Simmons' statements to police officers following his arrest. In a two hour and 15 minute taped interview, Jack Simmons first told Detective Sergeant Mike Williams that his mom's death was an accident. But upon further questioning, he told detectives that he was "very angry" with Edna for tripping and falling near the fireplace, since he "had told her on numerous occasions to stay away from the stone work around the fireplace." Simmons then told detectives he "yelled at Edna, asking her why she was in the room after he told her not to be there."
According to the report, Simmons then grabbed Edna by her arms and "yanked" her to her feet but pulled too hard. Simmons said his mom fell to the ground again, hitting her head on the carpet-covered concrete floor. In the report, Simmons also admitted to putting his hands around Edna's throat and shaking her. Jack Simmons even demonstrated his actions on the Sergeant.
In the report, Det. Sgt. Williams writes, "At the beginning of the interview, Simmons appeared to be trying to make himself cry, but there were no tears in his eyes. Later in the interview, he seemed to be more genuinely emotional and was actually crying. He said over and over again that he couldn't believe he killed her." The Sergeant continues, "He also accepted responsibility for causing her death. He also made a statement that she would have survived if he wasn't there."
According to the report, Simmons also agreed to reenact the alleged crime for police officers at the home on Sunset Drive. During the reenactment, police said they pointed out several inconsistencies in Simmons' story.
Lois Pellham was Edna's friend and neighbor for 17 years. She visited with Edna the night she died.
"I believe I was the last person to see her alive," Pellham said. Pellham didn't find out about what happened to Edna until the next morning when police knocked on her door. "It's been hard for me too because we were really close and I even went down to my daughter's in Othello last night to get it out of my system."
Shocked and angry, Pellham told KHQ that this wasn't the first time Jack got violent with Edna. Pellham said Edna came to her door once before, about six or seven months ago, with blood all over her body. A formal police report was never filed but Moses Lake Police officers were told about the incident after the fact. According to the Moses Lake incident report - the same report detailing Jack Simmons' statements to police - Edna told Pellham that Jack had beat her up and stomped on her stomach and she was scared to go home.
Jack Simmons does have a criminal history including assault charges, according to Moses Lake PD.
KHQ spoke with the Simmons' family briefly Tuesday morning. They were too shaken up to speak on camera but described Edna as a matriarch of the family, with really strong ties to the community. Her late husband, Leonard, was a Moses Lake Firefighter. Edna leaves behind a large family. She has five children, including Jack, several grandchildren and great grandchildren.
"We will miss her," Lois said.