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UPDATE: Case delayed for Milwaukee man who killed neighbor

UPDATED Wednesday, April 30, 2014 --- 3:42 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A Milwaukee County judge has postponed a decision on whether to bypass a trial in the civil case of John Henry Spooner, who shot and killed his teenage neighbor as the boy's mother watched in horror.

A jury already convicted the 77-year-old of killing 13-year-old Darius Simmons in 2012. Spooner has virtually no assets but the boy's mother filed a civil lawsuit in case he ever profits from his story.

Her attorney, Jonathan Safran, asked Judge Kevin Martens on Wednesday to enter summary judgment on her behalf. That means Martens would rule in her favor without actually holding a trial. He says Spooner was already convicted in criminal court.

Spooner's attorney, Basil Loeb, said he needs more time to respond to a letter Safran filed Tuesday. Martens granted that request.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Wednesday, April 30, 2014 --- 5:42 a.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A Milwaukee County judge will consider whether to bypass a trial in the civil case of a woman whose neighbor shot and killed her teenage son after accusing the boy of stealing his shotguns.

Patricia Larry's attorneys have asked a judge to enter summary judgment Wednesday against 77-year-old John Henry Spooner. That means the judge would rule in her favor without actually holding a trial.

Larry's attorneys argue that a jury already convicted Spooner of killing 13-year-old Darius Simmons in 2012. They say there's no point holding another trial because there's no question Spooner was the killer.

Spooner's attorney says there needs to be a trial to because there's still question about Spooner's sanity.

Spooner has been sentenced to life in prison with no chance for parole.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Friday, July 26, 2013 --- 9:03 a.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The Milwaukee man who shot and killed his teenage neighbor after accusing him of burglary says he's not sure he got a fair trial.

Seventy-six-year-old John Henry Spooner was convicted last week of killing 13-year-old Darius Simmons. On the same day he wrote to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel questioning his lawyer's adequacy and wondering whether the truth came out.

Spooner acknowledged killing the boy, saying it was "justice" for having guns stolen from his home. He believed Darius was the thief but police searched Darius' home and didn't find the weapons.

Spooner complained that his defense attorney didn't properly instruct him as to his rights against self-incrimination. However, his attorney did try to persuade him not to testify.

Spooner asked the newspaper to help get the truth out, but he didn't elaborate.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Thursday, July 25, 2013 ---4:50 a.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Now that a Milwaukee man has been convicted of killing his teenage neighbor, a civil case against him will resume.

Seventy-six-year-old John Henry Spooner was convicted last week in the 2012 death of Darius Simmons. Spooner shot the 13-year-old in the chest after accusing him of burglarizing Spooner's shotguns. Police searched Darius' home but didn't find the guns.

The boy's mother, Patricia Larry, filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against Spooner. But that case was put on hold while the criminal case was going on.

It now resumes Thursday with a scheduling conference, where the court will set dates for further activity.

Larry's attorney, Jonathan Safran, says Spooner doesn't appear to have many assets, but the lawsuit was a way to keep him from selling off whatever he did have.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Monday, July 22, 2013 --- 2:26 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A 76-year-old Milwaukee man who shot and killed his teen neighbor after accusing the boy of burglary has been sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole.

John H. Spooner was convicted last week of first-degree intentional homicide. He acknowledged shooting 13-year-old Darius Simmons in the chest last year while the teen's mother watched.

At a sentencing hearing Monday, Judge Jeffrey Wagner denied Spooner the possibility of parole.

Darius' mother, Patricia Larry, says justice was served when the jury rejected Spooner's insanity plea. She still has a pending wrongful-death lawsuit against Spooner.

Some of Spooner's shotguns were stolen in a break-in at his home two days before he killed Darius. Spooner told the jury he suspected the teen. Police searched Darius' home and didn't find the weapons.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Monday, July 22, 2013 --- 12:46 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The attorney for the Milwaukee man who shot and killed his teenage neighbor says an appeal might not make sense given his client's failing health.

Franklyn Gimbel said Monday the appeals process takes about 18 months. He says that might be too long for John H. Spooner, who's 76.

Spooner has lung cancer and congestive heart failure, and he's had four heart-bypass surgeries. He also has chronic pneumonia.

Gimbel says he hasn't talked to Spooner yet about an appeal. He says if his client does want an appeal he'd probably refer the case to a public defender.

Spooner was convicted last week of first-degree intentional homicide. He said he killed 13-year-old Darius Simmons last year because he suspected the boy of burglary.

Spooner is due to be sentenced Monday afternoon.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Monday, July 22, 2013 --- 5:51 a.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A Milwaukee man who fatally shot his teenage neighbor after accusing the boy of burglary is set to be sentenced.

John Spooner was convicted last week of first-degree intentional homicide in the death of 13-year-old Darius Simmons. A jury rejected his insanity plea, setting him up for a mandatory life sentence that essentially guarantees the 76-year-old will die in prison. Spooner will be sentenced Monday.

Jurors decided Spooner knew exactly what he was doing when he accused Simmons of stealing his guns and then shot him in May 2012.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Friday, July 19, 2013 --- 12:17 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A jury says a Milwaukee man who fatally shot his teenage neighbor whom he suspected of burglary was not insane when he pulled the trigger.

The same jury convicted 76-year-old John Henry Spooner on Wednesday of first-degree intentional homicide. That verdict led to a second phase of the trial in which jurors were asked to determine whether he was mentally ill at the time.

They agreed Friday that he was sane when he killed 13-year-old Darius Simmons.

Two doctors testified that Spooner's anger issues and aggressive impulses didn't constitute a mental defect.

Spooner has said he killed Darius because he thought the boy had broken into his home and stolen $3,000 worth of guns. Police searched Darius' home and didn't find the weapons.

Spooner now faces a mandatory life sentence.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press
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UPDATED Friday, July 19, 2013 --- 12:16 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Jury says 76-year-old Wis. man was sane when fatally he shot teen neighbor; faces life term.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press
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UPDATED Friday, July 19, 2013 --- 5:25 a.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A trial is expected to wrap up in the case of a Milwaukee man who shot and killed his teenage neighbor last year whom he suspected of burglary.

Seventy-six-year-old John Henry Spooner was convicted Wednesday of first-degree intentional homicide. His trial is now in a second phase to determine whether he was mentally ill when he killed 13-year-old Darius Simmons last year.

Witnesses who are expected to testify Friday include a forensic psychologist hired by the state.

Spooner took the stand Thursday against his attorney's advice. He acknowledged killing Darius, saying he really wanted his guns back. He said the killing was "justice" for the burglary.

Police searched Darius' home after the shooting and didn't find the guns.

Jurors could return a verdict as early as Friday afternoon.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Thursday, July 18, 2013 --- 4:13 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A Milwaukee man on trial for killing his 13-year-old neighbor last year says he shot the boy as "justice" because he suspected the teen had stolen weapons from him.

Seventy-six-year-old John Henry Spooner declined to testify in the first half of his trial. In that phase a jury convicted him of first-degree intentional homicide.

The trial advanced to a second phase to determine his mental competence at the time. Spooner took the stand against his attorney's advice.

He says he killed the boy out of anger. He says he wanted to shoot the boy's older brother but other people had gathered near him.

A prosecutor asked if he felt bad about killing Darius Simmons. Spooner replied, "Not that bad."

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Thursday, July 18, 2013 --- 3:20 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A Milwaukee man convicted of homicide this week will testify in the mental illness phase of his trial, against the advice of his attorney.

Seventy-six-year-old John Henry Spooner declined to testify in the first half of his trial. In that phase a jury convicted him of first-degree intentional homicide.

The judge asked him Thursday whether he wanted to testify in the second phase, which is designed to determine his mental competence at the time of the shooting. He said he wanted to make a statement instead.

The defense requested a break so he could be mentally evaluated. A doctor ruled him competent to proceed, and Spooner said he would testify,

Spooner was convicted Wednesday of fatally shooting of his teenage neighbor after accusing the boy of burglary. The trial is now in a second phase to determine his mental competence.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Wednesday, July 17, 2013 --- 4:11 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A psychiatrist testifying in the trial of a Milwaukee man who fatally shot his teenage neighbor says the man once killed his daughter's kitten.

Dr. Basil Jackson testified Wednesday in the second phase of a trial for 76-year-old John Henry Spooner. The testimony came hours after a jury found Spooner guilty of fatally shooting his 13-year-old neighbor after accusing the boy of stealing from him.

The second phase is to determine Spooner's mental competence at the time of the 2012 shooting.

Jackson says Spooner once killed a kitten that his daughter brought home because he didn't want a cat. The psychiatrist, who was hired by the defense, says that sort of anger prompted Spooner to momentarily lose control during the several seconds that he fired two shots at the boy.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Wednesday, July 17, 2013 --- 1:59 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A 76-year-old Milwaukee man has been found guilty of fatally shooting his 13-year-old neighbor whom he suspected of burglary.

A jury on Wednesday convicted John Henry Spooner of first-degree intentional homicide. He was charged with shooting Darius Simmons in the chest last year after accusing the teen of breaking into his home and stealing weapons.

The guilty verdict wraps up the first half of the trial. Spooner had pleaded insanity, so the defense now must prove that Spooner was suffering from mental illness at the time of the shooting that prevented him from knowing right from wrong.

In this second phase, the burden of proof shifts to the defense.

Spooner's attorney, Franklyn Gimbel, says he has an expert who will testify that Spooner was mentally incompetent at the time.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press
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UPDATED Wednesday, July 17, 2013 --- 1:57 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Milwaukee man found guilty in fatal shooting of 13-year-old neighbor whom he accused of theft.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press
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UPDATED Wednesday, July 17, 2013 --- 12:40 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A jury is deciding whether a Milwaukee man who fatally shot his teenage neighbor after accusing him of burglary actually meant to kill the boy.

The defense attorney for 76-year-old John Henry Spooner concedes his client killed 13-year-old Darius Simmons last year outside their homes. But lawyer Franklyn Gimbel says Spooner didn't have a "mental investment in what he was doing."

Prosecutors showed a video Tuesday in which Spooner tells detectives he shot the boy because he wanted his stolen shotguns back.

If Spooner is found guilty, the trial will advance to a second phase to determine whether he was mentally ill at the time of the shooting. Spooner didn't testify in the first phase, and Gimbel says he won't testify in the second phase either.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press
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UPDATED Wednesday, July 17, 2013 --- 12:38 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The Milwaukee man accused of fatally shooting his teenage neighbor whom he accused of burglary has chosen not to testify on his own behalf.

Seventy-six-year-old John Henry Spooner is accused of killing 13-year-old Darius Simmons last year outside their homes. Prosecutors showed a video Tuesday in which Spooner told detectives he shot the boy because he wanted his stolen shotguns back.

The prosecution wrapped up its case Wednesday morning. Defense attorney Franklyn Gimbel didn't call any witnesses, and Spooner declined to testify.

Gimbel concedes that Spooner shot the boy. He says the legal issues are Spooner's intent and his mental competence.

If Spooner is found guilty, the trial advances to a second phase to determine whether he was mentally ill at the time of the shooting.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press
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UPDATED Wednesday, July 17, 2013 --- 12:37 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The Milwaukee man accused of fatally shooting his teenage neighbor whom he accused of burglary has chosen not to testify on his own behalf.

Seventy-six-year-old John Henry Spooner is accused of killing 13-year-old Darius Simmons last year outside their homes. Prosecutors showed a video Tuesday in which Spooner told detectives he shot the boy because he wanted his stolen shotguns back.

The prosecution wrapped up its case Wednesday morning. Defense attorney Franklyn Gimbel didn't call any witnesses, and Spooner declined to testify.

Gimbel concedes that Spooner shot the boy. He says the legal issues are Spooner's intent and his mental competence.

If Spooner is found guilty, the trial advances to a second phase to determine whether he was mentally ill at the time of the shooting.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press
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UPDATED Wednesday, July 17, 2013 --- 5:18 a.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- It's unclear whether the Milwaukee man accused of gunning down the teenage neighbor whom he accused of burglary will testify on his own behalf.

Seventy-six-year-old John Henry Spooner is accused of killing Darius Simmons last year outside their homes. Prosecutors showed a police video Tuesday in which Spooner told detectives he shot the boy because he wanted his stolen shotguns back.

The prosecution is expected to wrap up its case Wednesday. Defense attorney Franklyn Gimbel said Tuesday afternoon he hadn't decided whether to put Spooner on the stand.

Gimbel concedes that Spooner shot Simmons. He says the issues are Spooner's intent and mental competence.

Those who testified Tuesday included Simmons' mother, Patricia Larry. She tearfully recounted how her son took his last breath in her arms.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Tuesday, July 16, 2013 --- 4:54 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The Milwaukee man accused of gunning down his 13-year-old neighbor last year tells police he did it because he wanted his stolen shotguns back.

The comments came in a police-interrogation video that prosecutors aired in his homicide trial Tuesday. Seventy-six-year-old John Henry Spooner is accused of fatally shooting Darius Simmons in the chest from several feet away.

The police video shows Spooner chatting with detectives about his two dogs and his gun collection. He doesn't deny shooting his neighbor. When an officer asks who Spooner shot he says, "I guess it was a 13-year-old boy."

Spooner tells the investigator he's been burglarized before and beaten up in his own house.

His defense attorney concedes that Spooner killed the boy, but says he'll argue the question of intent.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Tuesday, July 16, 2013 --- 3:18 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The mother of a Milwaukee teen gunned down last year by his 76-year-old neighbor says she held her boy in the street as he took his final breath.

Patricia Larry testified Tuesday in the trial of John Henry Spooner. He's charged with first-degree intentional homicide in the death of 13-year-old Darius Simmons.

She says Spooner accused her son of burglary. She says he told Simmons he'd teach the boy not to steal, and then shot him.

Larry says her wounded son fled into the street, and when she ran to where he collapsed he only had a light pulse. She says she pulled his shirt up and saw a bullet hole in his chest.

Spooner's defense attorney concedes that Spooner killed Simmons but says the issue is whether he had intent to kill.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Tuesday, July 16, 2013 --- 3:12 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Prosecutors say jurors will actually witness a Milwaukee man gunning down his 13-year-old neighbor whom he suspected of stealing.

Prosecutor Mark Williams said Tuesday the defendant's own security cameras captured the May 2012 shooting. He says jurors will see the terror in Darius Simmons' face and see how coldblooded 76-year-old John Henry Spooner was.

The criminal complaint says Spooner suspected Simmons of breaking into his home and stealing guns. Spooner confronted the teen on the sidewalk and demanded that he return them. The complaint says Simmons denied stealing anything and Spooner shot him in the chest.

Defense attorney Franklyn Gimbel concedes Spooner shot the fatal bullet, but says he'll argue he didn't intend to kill Simmons and that Spooner's mental illness prevented him from knowing right from wrong.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Monday, July 15, 2013 --- 5:35 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Fourteen jurors have been selected to hear the case of a 76-year-old white Milwaukee man accused of gunning down a 13-year-old black boy last year over a theft allegation.

The overall pool of prospective jurors contained four black people, but the defense removed three of them.

Prosecutor Mark Williams told the judge he wasn't pleased about that. He says he wants to take up the issue Tuesday morning before opening statements.

John Henry Spooner is accused of killing his neighbor, Darius Simmons, on a sidewalk near their homes. Prosecutors say Spooner suspected Simmons of breaking into his home and stealing guns.

Defense attorney Franklyn Gimbel says he'll argue Spooner didn't intend to kill the teen.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Monday, July 15, 2013 --- 7:58 a.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Two days after George Zimmerman was acquitted of killing Trayvon Martin in Florida, a trial begins for a white Milwaukee man accused of fatally shooting a black teen whom he suspected of theft.

Seventy-six-year-old John Henry Spooner is charged with first-degree intentional homicide in the 2012 death of his neighbor. Spooner confronted 13-year-old Darius Simmons on the sidewalk and accused him of stealing his guns. Darius denied stealing anything, and prosecutors say Spooner shot him in the chest.

Neither Spooner nor defense attorney Franklyn Gimbel has commented on the allegations. A message left for Gimbel wasn't immediately returned.

A jury found Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder in Martin's death. The case raised questions of whether the shooting was racially motivated. Zimmerman identifies himself as Hispanic and Martin was black.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED: Monday, February 4, 2013 --- 10:05 a.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A Milwaukee man accused of killing his teenage neighbor has been found competent to proceed to trial.

A mental health expert who examined John Spooner testified Monday that the 76-year-old is competent to help with his defense.

Spooner is accused of fatally shooting 13-year-old Darius Simmons last May over an alleged theft. Defense attorney Franklyn Gimbel says he's concerned that Spooner's health has deteriorated to the point that he may not make it to trial in May.

The victim's family pastor, Rev. Steve Jerbi, says the competency finding is what they expected. He says the Simmons family is still feeling a lot of pain and heartache over Darius' death.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press
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UPDATED: Monday, February 4, 2013 ---- 8:25 a.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Mental health questions about a Milwaukee man accused of killing his teenage neighbor could be answered in court.

Seventy-six-year-old John Spooner is scheduled for an appearance in Milwaukee County Circuit Court Monday. Results of a mental health exam are expected to help a judge decide whether Spooner is competent to proceed to trial.

He's accused of fatally shooting 13-year-old Darius Simmons last May over an alleged theft.

Defense attorney Steve McGaver previously told Judge Jeffrey Wagner there's reason to believe Spooner might not be competent to proceed. The judge ordered that Spooner be evaluated by a mental health professional.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press
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UPDATED Monday, January 14, 2013 --- 10:53 a.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A 76-year-old Milwaukee man accused of shooting and killing his teenage neighbor will get a mental exam to determine whether he's competent to proceed to trial.

John Spooner was in court Monday for a motion hearing. He's accused of killing 13-year-old Darius Simmons last May over an alleged theft.

Defense attorney Steve McGaver requested a change of venue, arguing that pre-trial publicity would make it difficult for Spooner to receive a fair trial. Judge Jeffrey Wagner denied that motion.

McGaver also told the judge there was reason to believe Spooner might not be competent to proceed. The judge ordered that Spooner be evaluated by a mental-health professional.

Online court records say the doctor's report is due Feb. 4. The trial date was also pushed back two months, to May 6.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Thursday, August 2, 2012 --- 1:43 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The lawyer for a Milwaukee man accused of shooting and killing his teenage neighbor over allegedly stolen guns has entered an insanity plea on his client's behalf.

Defense attorney Franklyn Gimbel entered the plea Thursday on behalf of 75-year-old John Spooner. Spooner did not appear in court.

Gimbel says a mental-health professional who examined Spooner says he believes Spooner is suffering from mental disease.

Gimbel has until Aug. 16 to provide the doctor's report to prosecutors, who will then decide whether to have their own doctors examine Spooner.

Judge Jeffrey Wagner also told prosecutors that his son is married to the defense attorney's daughter. Wagner says he had no plans to recuse himself.

Prosecutor Denis Stingl says he'll consult with his colleagues to determine whether to seek a recusal.

Copyright 2012: Associated Press

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UPDATED: Thursday, August 2, 2012 --- 9:50 a.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The lawyer for a Milwaukee man accused of shooting and killing his teenage neighbor over allegedly stolen guns says his client plans to use an insanity defense.

The suspect is 75-year-old John Spooner. His lawyer appeared on Spooner's behalf at a court appearance Thursday.

Defense attorney Franklyn Gimbel says a mental-health professional who examined Spooner says he believes Spooner is suffering from mental disease.

Gimbel has until Aug. 16 to provide the doctor's report to prosecutors, who will then decide whether to have their own doctors examine Spooner.

Judge Jeffrey Wagner also told prosecutors that his son is married to the defense attorney's daughter. Wagner says he had no plans to recuse himself.

Prosecutor Denis Stingl says he'll consult with his colleagues to determine whether to seek a recusal.

Copyright 2012: Associated Press

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UPDATED Thursday, July 5, 2012 --- 7:25 a.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The family of a 13-year-old boy who was fatally shot outside his Milwaukee home has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the 75-year-old suspect.

John Spooner has pleaded not guilty to a first-degree intentional homicide charge in the May 31 killing of Darius Simmons. Prosecutors say Spooner accused the boy of stealing his guns, and shot the boy in the chest when he denied it.

Milwaukee police say Simmons' mother, Patricia Larry, witnessed her son's death.

She sued Spooner and his home insurer last week in Milwaukee County. The lawsuit cites claims for battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress and seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

Spooner remains jailed in lieu of $300,000 bail.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports (http://bit.ly/NmuC6P ) his next court date is Aug. 2.

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Information from: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, http://www.jsonline.com

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.

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Updated Wednesday, June 13, 2012 --- 10:40 a.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Milwaukee's police chief is defending how his officers investigated the fatal shooting of a 13-year-old boy, saying police protocol has to focus on effectiveness over compassion.

Police Chief Ed Flynn told reporters Wednesday that the top priority of a homicide investigator is to get the facts immediately. That can mean keeping grieving family members apart, because police don't want witnesses talking to each other.

Milwaukee police drew criticism after Darius Simmons was shot and killed last month in front of his home. The family says police kept the boy's mother in a squad car for two hours rather than let her hold her son or join him at the hospital.

Flynn says the investigators' main concern is getting a conviction, and it's unfortunate that some investigative techniques seem uncompassionate.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.

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UPDATED Monday, June 11, 2012 --- 10:15 a.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A 75-year-old Milwaukee man will stand trial in the fatal shooting his 13-year-old neighbor.

John Henry Spooner pleaded not guilty during a short hearing on Monday and waived his right for a preliminary hearing.

He's charged with one count of first-degree intentional homicide in the death of Darius Simmons on May 31.

Spooner allegedly confronted the teen and demanded that he return items that had recently been stolen from Spooner's home. The boy told him he didn't have the property, but he allegedly shot the boy in the chest as the teen's mother watched.

Witnesses said Spooner then paced up and down the sidewalk until police arrived. A criminal complaint says Spooner admitted to the arresting office that he shot the teen.

A scheduling conference is set for June 20.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.

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UPDATED Monday, June 11, 2012 --- 7:30 a.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A 75-year-old Milwaukee man charged in the fatal shooting his 13-year-old neighbor is scheduled to be in court.

A preliminary hearing is set for Monday for John Henry Spooner for a judge to decide whether there's enough evidence for Spooner to stand trial. He's charged with one count of first-degree intentional homicide in the death of Darius Simmons on May 31.

Spooner allegedly confronted the teen and demanded that he return items that had recently been stolen from Spooner's home. The boy told him he didn't have the property, but he allegedly shot the boy in the chest as the teen's mother watched.

Witnesses said Spooner then paced up and down the sidewalk until police arrived and arrested him.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.

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UPDATED Sunday, June 10, 2912 --- 10:45 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- They buried Darius Simmons between two tall maple trees, nine days after he was gunned down, allegedly by an angry neighbor who believed the 13-year-old had stolen his shotguns.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the tragedy has torn at the city's racial sores: A black boy shot at close range, his alleged killer a 75-year-old white man now charged with first-degree intentional homicide. The boy and his family recently moved to the block; the man was a decades-long resident of a neighborhood that years ago changed from all-white to multiethnic.

And police are accused of treating the victim's family with a heavy hand. They left their house in disarray after scouring it in vain for the shotguns.

Mayor Tom Barrett, who has vowed an investigation, attended Saturday's funeral.

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UPDATED Saturday, June 2, 2012 --- 6:05 a.m.

Man, 75, charged in killing of teenage neighbor

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Neighbors of a 75-year-old Milwaukee man charged in the fatal shooting of a 13-year-old boy who lived next door say he had been a repeated target of break-ins.

John Henry Spooner was charged with one count of first-degree intentional homicide, use of a dangerous weapon. Spooner was arrested Thursday after waiting for police at the crime scene on Milwaukee's south side.

Police are investigating whether there was a history of disagreements between the man and boy. Police say the boy, identified as Darius Simmons, was unarmed when he was shot in the street outside their homes.

Spooner remained in jail. A phone message left at his home was not immediately returned Friday. It wasn't clear if he had an attorney yet. The case wasn't listed in Wisconsin's online court system.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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UPDATED Friday, June 1, 2012 --- 8:45 a.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Neighbors say an elderly Milwaukee man arrested for fatally shooting a 13-year-old boy who lived next door had been a repeated target of break-ins.

The 75-year-old man was arrested Thursday after waiting for police at the crime scene on Milwaukee's south side. Police say they're investigating whether there was a history of disagreements between the man and boy. Authorities say the boy was unarmed when he was shot in the street outside their homes.

Milwaukee Alderman Bob Donovan tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (http://bit.ly/NkwwFD ) he met with the man earlier in the day over breakfast. Donovan says the man told him he had lost $3,000 worth of shotguns in a burglary this week, was frustrated with police and was dying of lung cancer.

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Information from: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, http://www.jsonline.com

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.

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Posted Thursday, May 31, 2012 --- 4:00 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Milwaukee police say a 13-year-old boy died after he was shot on the street near his home on the city's south side.

Police say a 75-year-old neighbor confronted the teen on the street, pulled out a gun and shot the boy around 9:45 a.m. Thursday. Police arrested the man and recovered the weapon.

Police say the boy was unarmed.

Police are investigating whether there was a history of disagreements between the man and the boy. Police say preliminary indications are that Wisconsin's so-called Castle Doctrine, passed last year, does not apply in this case. The law presumes someone acts reasonably when they use deadly force against an unlawful intruder to their home, business or vehicle.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (http://bit.ly/NkwwFD ) reports police did not release any other information.

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Information from: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, http://www.jsonline.com

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.


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