Attorneys in the child sex trial of David Lee Simpson, 44, of Whitewright, were expected to give closing statements this morning after jurors spent Monday listening to expert witnesses talk about DNA allegedly found on the clothing of a 14-year-old Lamar County girl.
Lamar County Assistant District Attorney Jill Drake argued the DNA was found on underwear worn by the girl while she and her stepfather’s best friend were hog hunting on an early Sunday morning in January 2016. She said it confirms the sexual assault described by the girl last week before a 10-woman, two-man jury in Sixth District Court.
Simpson is charged with two counts of second degree felony sexual assault of a child. He was indicted March 24, 2016, and is free on a $75,000 bond. His trial, which began a week ago, was delayed Thursday afternoon by an undisclosed emergency.
In introducing DNA evidence Monday, Drake asked two forensic scientists to describe how DNA was collected from underwear and jeans allegedly worn by the girl and then processed by the Department of Public Service crime lab. Criminal defense attorney Robert T. Jarvis also introduced a North Texas State University professor as a DNA expert.
The crime lab scientist testified the DNA of three people was found on the underwear — the girl, the defendant and a third unidentified person. Jarvis argued his client’s DNA, along with that of the third person, could have been transferred to the clothing because Simpson, as the girl’s stepfather’s friend, spent a lot of time in their home.
After Drake rested the state’s case shortly before 2 p.m., Jarvis asked for an instructed verdict, arguing the state had not provided significant evidence and saying he questioned the girl’s honesty. District Judge Wes Tidwell denied the request, and Jarvis presented his defense, introducing the university forensic professor and a former Lamar County deputy. Simpson exercised his Fifth Amendment right and did not testify.
Using possible scenarios, Jarvis led his expert witness in describing multiple ways the defendant’s DNA might have been transferred to the girl’s clothing.
In an attempt to discredit the girl’s testimony, Jarvis questioned the former deputy about what she told him about the alleged rape in relation to where she and the defendant were and about kissing and fondling. His statements, along with those in his written report, contrast the girl’s testimony last week.
During cross examination, Drake established that the deputy had been asked to resign from the sheriff’s office in July 2017. Although the deputy testified he had no recollection of the accusations against him, Drake said he failed to attend training, which included report writing.
The defense rested its case shortly after 4 p.m.