TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Dressed in an anti-suicide vest and standing in the back of the hall where inmates go for their first appearance hearings, Antelo Shavonne Simpson appeared in court Friday morning.
With a public defender representing Simpson, the judge set the pre-trial detention hearing for Wednesday, Nov. 1 at 2:30 p.m. back at the courthouse.
This comes after 73-year-old Sandra Bailey was found stabbed to death in her apartment at 305 East Wellington Court on Wednesday morning.
“I’m very concerned because she was very nice and she was a harmless old lady who couldn’t do anything for herself,” neighbor Shannon Mathis said. “If you even poke her with a finger she could fall down. I picked up her about two weeks ago, she could hardly make it home, so she wasn’t well at all, so she couldn’t have fought back to help herself at all.”
Later that night, Tampa police arrested 30-year-old Simpson for Bailey’s murder.
Detectives said they discovered Bailey “made contact with several shared associates, including Simpson” on Monday after she got locked out of her apartment.
“The evidence does suggest that they were known to each other, and he was allowed entry into the residence,” said Major Patrick Messmer of the Tampa Police Department. “He was well known to the victim, so there was no signs of any kind of forced entry. This was definitely not a random act.”
Police also said they spoke with Simpson at the crime scene on Wednesday, as he was one of a group watching the detectives. It wasn’t until they gathered more evidence that they said they believed he was the suspect.
Officers arrested Simpson Wednesday night around 11:20 p.m. and took him to the Orient Road Jail.
Simpson is charged with one count of felony first-degree murder.