Man convicted in 2021 Arlington school shooting won’t have 2nd trial, attorneys say (2024)

A man convicted of attempted capital murder in a 2021 shooting at an Arlington high school is no longer expected to face trial for a second time in the shooting after entering a plea agreement, according to defense attorneys and Tarrant County court records.

Timothy Simpkins, now 20, faced several additional charges after a jury found him guilty in July and he received a 12-year prison sentence in the Timberview High School shooting. He could have faced life in prison at the July trial.


Timberview High School shooter sentenced to 12 years for attempted capital murder


New charges that include aggravated assault and unlawful carrying of a gun at a school were filed after his conviction. But Simpkins will no longer face additional prison time in connection with the shooting as the result of a plea agreement, his defense attorney MarQuetta Clayton said.

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The agreement comes after a judge found that two counts violated double jeopardy rules and a motion was filed by Clayton to dismiss the cases for alleged “prosecutorial vindictiveness” and “outrageous conduct,” according to court documents.

“This office does not participate in or condone vindictive prosecution,” the Tarrant County district attorney’s office said in a written statement. “Additional charges were filed against this defendant due to admissions during his testimony in his first trial. All of his cases are resolved.”


The office provided the statement after receiving emailed questions from The Dallas Morning News about the outcome of the cases, allegations made about the prosecution and the plea agreement reached in Simpkins’ cases.

Simpkins agreed to an additional sentence and will return to prison to continue serving his time, the statement said.

On Thursday, Simpkins pleaded guilty to one count of the unlawful carrying of a weapon in a prohibited place and received a two-year sentence. That sentence will run concurrently, or at the same time, as the 12 years he received in July, Clayton said.


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Simpkins was also fined $6,000 in his July conviction. Other counts Simpkins faced were dismissed, according to court records.

The agreement includes that the cases will not be refiled or prosecuted again, including any underlying conduct related to the cases and any other criminal offenses prosecutors are aware of at this time, according to Clayton and plea documents.

Clayton has called the move to prosecute new charges after the trial an “elaborate attempt to double dip.”


Allegations of ‘vindictiveness’

Before the plea agreement, jury selection was scheduled to begin Friday, defense attorneys said.

Defense attorneys told The News they believed the new cases were filed to extend Simpkins’ punishment.

According to the motion Clayton filed, which alleged “prosecutorial vindictiveness” and “outrageous conduct,” prosecutor Rose Anna Salinas “berated the jury” after the July verdict giving Simpkins a 12-year prison sentence and expressed “outrage.”


The document alleges that Salinas, an assistant district attorney, told the jury she would file multiple other charges and have a judge stack those sentences. Two days after the verdict, defense attorneys scheduled a meeting with the district attorney to report the prosecutor’s behavior and express it was “unethical and unprofessional.”

Three days after the meeting, Simpkins was indicted on additional charges and another followed. But defense attorneys were not notified of the charges until March when the court scheduled a meeting, according to the motion. At the meeting, Simpkins was offered an additional 15 years in prison, the document says.

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The motion argues Simpkins’ indictments charged him with “the same conduct, or a different offense arising out of the same criminal episode” and should have been consolidated into one trial. It says that several details surrounding additional alleged crimes were presented to the jury in July.


In the week before the motion was filed, a judge consolidated the cases and found that two aggravated assault counts violated double jeopardy and could not be prosecuted. The judge, in an order, denied a request from prosecutors to amend the indictment to include aggravated assault allegations against two new people.

“Defense has no knowledge of any public outcry or interest of justice that could be served by filing all of these new charges,” the motion says, adding that Simpkins was settled into being incarcerated and arguing that the shooting “involved a defensive” response to an attack.

Shooting stems from brawl

The shooting, in which Simpkins was convicted of attempted capital murder, happened at Timberview High School on Oct. 6, 2021, after a brawl in which Zacchaeus Selby, then 15, pummeled Simpkins, then 18, into the ground, police have said.


Simpkins pulled a handgun from his backpack and fired at Selby in a classroom, also striking another student and a teacher who intervened to break up the fight.

In the aftermath, Timberview students and teachers have reported emotional trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder. Simpkins’ family members have said he was being bullied. Timberview is in the Mansfield school district but in the city of Arlington.

During Simpkins’ July trial, defense attorneys characterized him as a kind-hearted boy who was afraid for his life. Prosecutors described a violent teen who sold marijuana, fired weapons recklessly and intended to kill someone.

Prosecutors said that he was robbed and pistol-whipped at a gas station about two weeks before the shooting at the school. He was shown in video footage letting the driver of another car into his vehicle before he was robbed.


Simpkins exited his car and fired a gun at the other vehicle as it drove away, prosecutors have said. Prosecutors said the robber was likely related to Selby, the student Simpkins later shot at school.

One of the new cases Simpkins faced was for alleged aggravated assault in connection with a Sept. 26, 2021, incident in which he is accused of firing at — or in the direction of — a vehicle that was driving away.

An officer showed a series of texts and web searches from Simpkins’ phone in the days after the robbery. Texts to friends included “get em b4 they get us” and “imma kill em both.” Simpkins also searched for guns and magazine clips.

Six days before the school shooting, he searched for how much time someone might spend in prison if they shoot someone at school who “tries to fight you,” Richard Jablon, an Arlington officer, testified.


During sentencing, Simpkins took the stand and said he felt remorse for the shooting, apologizing for what he did. Simpkins said he wasn’t trying to kill Selby, but was trying to protect himself, and stopped shooting at Selby when he saw that he was bleeding.

Simpkins had hoped to be sentenced to strict probation. With his current sentence, he could be eligible for parole in 2029, according to Texas prison records.

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