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Denver Simmons give chilling details in the murders of four inmates in South Carolina prison

June 27, 2017  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
Denver Simmons give chilling details in the murders of four inmates in South Carolina prison Denver Simmons (left) and Jacob Philip

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Associated Press – A South Carolina inmate says he and another convicted murderer strangled four fellow prisoners in a bid to get the death penalty.

Denver Simmons told The Associated Press in a series of telephone calls that he and Jacob Philip plotted the April 7 killings at Kirkland Correctional Institution for months.

Both men were sentenced to life without parole for double murderers.

In May 2010, Simmons shot an acquaintance, 45-year-old Sheila Faye Dodd of Round O, an unincorporated community northwest of Charleston. Prosecutors say he ate a pizza he’d bought with the dead woman’s debit card, picked her 13-year-old son, William, up from school and killed him.

Simmons agreed to plead guilty in exchange for prosecutors taking the death penalty off the table.

Jason Kelly, Jimmy Ham, John King and William Scruggs were found dead inside Kirkland Correctional Institution Friday in Columbia.

In August 2015, Philip pleaded guilty but mentally ill to strangling his girlfriend, Ashley Kaney, 26, and her 8-year-old daughter, Riley Burdick, two years earlier. At the time, he’d been attending the U.S. Navy’s nuclear training school in nearby Goose Creek.

Additionally, Denver Simmons told the AP they chose inmates who were weak or trusted them and lured them one by one into Simmons’ cell. The victims were John King, William Scruggs, Jimmy Ham, and Jason Kelley.

Simmons said he now realizes he’s unlikely to get the death penalty.

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