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Jury finds Simmons guilty after only 15-minute deliberation
Bennie Simmons and John Partin.jpg
Bennie Simmons converses with Public Defender John Partin during his preliminary hearing before being found guilty Monday of three charges following a jury trial. It took the jury 15 minutes to reach a verdict. - photo by Atlanta Northcutt

A man has been found guilty of multiple charges after his defense team argued the lack of video and audio footage by police presented no proof of guilty admission.

Bennie Louis Simmons, 41, was found guilty of two charges but had one lowered during a jury trial on Monday. The jury deliberated for 15 minutes before delivering the guilty verdicts.

The jury decided on guilty verdicts of tampering with evidence and resisting arrest, but lowered Simmons’ charge for possession of methamphetamine for resale to simple possession of meth.

“We were glad the jury did not convict him of the most serious offense, but we are disappointed they did not acquit him of the remaining charges,” said defense attorney Rick Stacy.

Simmons was charged in July 2018 with resisting arrest, tampering with evidence and possession of meth for resale after investigators received information regarding his whereabouts while he had an outstanding warrant for his arrest.

Police records state Simmons put something in his mouth, and once restrained, he spit out a chewed plastic bag containing a small amount of a crystal substance which field-tested positive for meth.

The warrant then stated Simmons admitted the items he swallowed were meth with Simmons reportedly saying, “It was about seven grams and a bunch of baggies.”

During Simmons’ preliminary hearing, the defense argued there was no video footage or audio evidence to prove Simmons had admitted to swallowing seven grams of meth and baggies as the warrant claimed.

Simmons’ sentencing hearing for the guilty verdicts will take place Sept. 11.