ARLINGTON, Texas – A former Timberview High School student who opened fire in a classroom and injured three people was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
After a six-day trial, Timothy Simpkins remained unmoved as he was sentenced to 12 years in prison on Monday night.
The 19-year-old was convicted of attempted capital murder for shooting and wounding three people inside Timberview High School in 2021.
Simpkins’ mother was seen emotionally standing behind her son as he was taken away to begin serving his time.
Simpkins’ defense team offered their reaction to reporters after the jury handed down the decision.
“Satisfied. Very satisfied,” said defense attorney Lesa Pamplin. “She wanted everyone to know how he felt about her.”
Simpkins was the last person to take the stand Monday morning before his fate was in the hands of the jury.
“I just understand that what I did was wrong. I’m sorry. I’m really sorry. I’m just asking for another chance,” she said.
After a violent classroom fight on Oct. 6, 20021, Simpkins pulled a handgun from his belt and shot at the student who had attacked him. Zacchaeus Selby was shot twice more after he fell to the floor in the corridor. Selby, another student and a teacher were injured and survived.
During the sentencing phase, the state’s case centered around a shooting at a gas station a week before the school shooting.
Prosecutors say the Timberview shooting was retribution for a robbery a week earlier.
Simpkins claimed he was robbed of drugs and money and was also pistol whipped during a meeting at an Arlington RaceTrac. Simpkins was captured while taking surveillance video of a vehicle driving away.
Prosecutors pushed Simpkins to serve a life sentence, showing threatening text messages sent by Simpkins and his Internet searches just days before Simpkins opened fire inside Timberview High.
Prosecutors say Simpkins’ reaction, angry and threatening text messages and Internet searches that followed led to the shooting at the school.
“At 5:15 the next day, you’re looking for an extended clip for a 45. On 9/27, you’re not looking for how do I report a crime. Are you?” asked prosecutor Lloyd Whelchel.
“No, sir,” Simpkins said.
“Didn’t you look up the Arlington Police Department main number? Didn’t you look up, ‘What if I get robbed while smoking marijuana?’ You have done?” Whelchel asked.
“No, sir,” Simpkins said.
“You can’t rehabilitate a lack of empathy and a cold-blooded heart,” said Attorney Rose Anna Salinas. “We as a community, you as jurors, need to send a message that we are tired of wringing our hands in despair over these shootings. To do it in a school, a sacred place of learning is even worse.”
Meanwhile, the defense has asked for leniency.
“Probation is set up to rehabilitate. That’s what it’s for. To give a person an opportunity and the tools,” defense attorney Lesa Pamplin said. “Tim may have grown up in a middle-class family, but he’s not a family of influence. It’s not a defense of the influence. What he did was very wrong. If you feel in your heart, ‘I can’t give him probation,’ I want you to consider the minimum of five years.”
Jurors deliberated for nearly five hours on Monday. On the table was a sentence ranging from 5 to 99 years.
The jury unanimously decided that Simpkins’ punishment would be 12 years.
Following the verdict, Calvin Pettit, the teacher Simpkins shot, confronted Simpkins. He said that while he doesn’t forgive him, this day is closure.
“Your life is precious. And you deserve a second chance,” she said. “But not now.”
Prosecutors declined to comment on camera.
However, Pamplin offered his final thoughts with the trial now over.
“It is what it is. 12 years a sentence. He has to go to the TDC,” he said. “He has to go to the TDC. I know they don’t want him to, but I think it’s a fair verdict on the facts of this case.”
In a statement released, prosecutor Lloyd Whelchel said, “We take school shootings seriously. This shouldn’t be the norm in our society.”
Simpkins will start serving his sentence immediately. He also has to pay a $6,000 fine. He has the right to appeal the sentence.