Brittany Simpson, a 31-year-old South Carolina woman, is accused of shooting her father to death after he tried to kick her out of the family’s $1.8 million home.
Robert Simpson, 66, worked in the film industry, most recently on the latest Stephen King movie, Mr. Mercedes, according to his obituary.
Police accuse Brittany Simpson, of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, of fabricating a story about an intruder, and then dumping a gun and other evidence in a nearby creek.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Brittany Was Staying in the Family Home Without Paying Rent
The murder originated from a spat that occurred when the Simpsons decided to evict their daughter from the family home, where she was living without paying rent, according to People Magazine.
Her sister, Brooke, told police that “Brittany had been given a 24-hour notice to leave the home by that day,” The Post and Courier reported.
Brittany’s mother, Susan, even went to court to get her daughter removed from the home. Susan Simpson “asked a magistrate court judge on March 31 to have Brittany Simpson evicted from the address. A judge signed the eviction order on Thursday, May 4,” reports ABC4.
Brittany’s mother, sister, and sister’s boyfriend were all in the home when the shooting occurred, reports The Post and Courier.
Susan Simpson reported hearing a popping sound and her husband yell. She said that she, her other daughter Brooke, and Brooke’s boyfriend ran downstairs and saw Robert Simpson’s blood seeping out of the master bedroom door, the newspaper reported.
The family patriarch was shot in the chest and briefly survived, reports the newspaper. Live5News reports that Susan told police the family was going to change the locks on the home.
2. Police Retrieved Evidence From a Nearby Creek After Brittany Blamed an Intruder
Brittany told police an intruder had broken into the family’s home and killed her father. When police arrived, she was sitting with her mother and sister, Brooke, and claimed “she ran after someone on the dock,” reports Live5News.
However, the story started to unravel when police “found her clothes and a gun submerged in a creek,” reports People.
ABC News 4 reports that police allege Brittany eventually “confessed to officers that she killed her father” and that, in a 911 call, “you can hear Brittany tell her sister that someone came into the home through the backdoor and shot their father. Her sister said the smell of gunpowder was still in the air and their father was locked in a room.”
According to The Post and Courier, Brittany has been charged with murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.
Complicating matters, according to Live5News, a presumptive test for gunpowder “came back negative” for Brittany and two males in the house, but a “small reaction was observed from both Susan and Chelsea, reports say.”
3. Brittany Has a Disability & Claimed She Was at a Gym Before the Slaying
Brittany’s lawyer told People Magazine that she had a disability, although the specific nature of it was not released.
According to the Post and Courier, Brittany “told officers that she had been swimming at the I’On Club and had returned home to find the back door open.” She is accused of demanding to her mother, “Why did you leave the doors unlocked?” the newspaper reported.
The 911 call came in around 6 a.m. Brittany was “observed swimming from 3:29 a.m. until 4:44 a.m. and she then went to the gym area. Simpson was recorded on camera leaving the gym a few minutes after 5 a.m.,” reports Live5News.
The television station reports that Brittany’s other sister, Chelsea, accused Brittany of killing their father because she was “unstable,” accusations that hurt their mother to the degree she had difficulty breathing.
4. Robert Simpson, Who Was From London, Worked in the Film Industry
Robert Simpson’s obituary says he was born in 1951 in London, England. He studied at the University of London International Programmes before immigrating to the Charleston, SC area in 1975, according to the obituary.
He and his wife Susan were married in 1981 in England. The obituary said that Robert worked in the film industry and was on the verge of retiring.
“Rob was passionate about his work in the film industry and was on the cusp of retirement after thirty years. He was an active member of the National Brotherhood of Teamsters, and currently working on the production of Mr. Mercedes, written by Stephen King,” the obituary said. “His favorite pastimes included golf, tennis, boating on the creek and entertaining family and friends, especially with his varied musical talent.”
According to the obituary, Robert was “known for his positive outlook on life, sense of humor and being the ‘life of the party,’ he will be greatly missed by family, friends and co-workers.” The obituary adds that he was survived by his wife of 36 years and four children: Chelsea, Brooke, Taylor, and Brittany.
People recalled Robert Simpson fondly in the obituary guestbook. “I worked with Rob and he was always a real man which is hard to find these days.. I will always remember him as a kind man that always cared about others before himself. I will miss you Rob,” wrote on friend. Another wrote, “Rob will always have a special place in my heart. His kindness, friendship and sense of humor will always be remembered. He will be sadly missed and my heart goes out to Susan and their children in this difficult time.”
5. Brittany Was Once a Popular Athlete
According to The Post and Courier, ‘Brittany was a popular athlete in her teenage years.”
She graduated from Wando High School, and then attended the University of Miami and the College of Charleston, reported the newspaper.
There were signs of trouble, however. A neighbor told Live5News that she had a “trespass order” against Brittany for coming repeatedly unwanted to her residence, and that she may have seen Brittany running to the dock area after the murder.