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Trial scheduled for man charged in sex assault, slaying of girl found dumped in alley

Trial scheduled for man charged in sex assault, slaying of girl found dumped in alley

Deonlashawn Simmons

Deonlashawn Simmons

CROWN POINT — A judge pro tempore on Friday scheduled a trial in December for a Chicago man facing charges alleging he sexually assaulted a 14-year-old girl, shot her in the head and dumped her body in Gary.

Deonlashawn Simmons, 35, appeared Friday with attorney Michael A. Campbell before Lake Criminal Court Judge Pro Tempore Andrea Bonds.

Campbell said Simmons was requesting a trial setting. He's also scheduled to appear Aug. 9 and 13 for hearings on his petition to let bail.

Simmons has pleaded not guilty to one count of murder in the shooting death of Takaylah Tribitt, 14.

Join Tristan DeFord, Jami Rieck, and Nancy Zakutanksky on a shift working for Superior Ambulance in Merrillville.

Murder defendants typically are not afforded bond, unless a court determines that proof is not evident or the presumption of guilt is not strong that the defendant committed murder and not a lesser offense.

Tribitt, who was reported missing by a Chicago shelter, was found face down with a gunshot wound to her head Sept. 16, 2019, in an alley near East 20th Avenue and Pennsylvania Street in Gary.

Investigators determined she had been sexually assaulted, but none of her injuries was consistent with a struggle or strangulation, records state. She was shot once in the left side of the head.

Bonds scheduled Simmons' trial to begin Dec. 6. She set a pretrial hearing for Nov. 19.


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