Simpson bound over for Nov. 7 arraignment

By David Knopf/Richmond News

Murder suspect Brandon Simpson was bound over to circuit court Thursday morning following a preliminary hearing that included rulings on several motions filed by Stanley Thompson, Simpson’s lawyer.

His arraignment before Judge David Miller will be 8:30 a.m. on Nov. 7.

Simpson, a Richmond graduate and state-champion wrestler, is charged with three felonies relating to the strangulation death of Michelle Rhueport in May, as well as a subsequent misdemeanor assault charge.

In addition to first-degree murder, Simpson faces felony charges of burglary and stealing. He’s being held on a $1 million bond at Ray County Jail.

Two other suspects, James Gant and Lauren Gabbard, have also been charged in Rhueport’s May 23 death. In addition to burglary and stealing felonies, they are charged with second-degree murder for a death that occurred in the commission of a felony they’re alleged to have known about in advance.

Gant and Gabbard are in custody, also in Ray County, on $100,000 bonds.

On Thursday, Judge J. Bartley Spear Jr. rejected Thompson’s motion to dismiss the charges against Simpson. Thompson’s filing had argued that the prosecution’s affidavit of probable cause failed to present factual evidence that Simpson unlawfully entered her home at 411 Farris St., knowingly caused Rheuport’s death or had possession of Rhueport’s personal property.


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