BOWIE, Md. (CBSDC) - Alexis Simpson has been found not guilty on all seven counts in the Bowie State murder trial in which she was charged with first-degree murder for stabbing her college roommate to death.
The verdict is regarded as a surprise to many.
Simpson, now 20, took the stand in the one-day trial Thursday, where prosecutors tried to prove she intentionally stabbed and killed her college roommate, Dominique Frazier, 18, after an argument in Sept. 2011.
Defense attorneys successfully proved to a jury in a Prince George’s County courtroom that Simpson was acting in self-defense, and had been bullied by Frazier.
Simpson testified she went back to her dorm room on the week of homecoming in 2011, where she saw Frazier and her friends in the room and immediately felt uncomfortable.
She says she went to the bathroom to get ready for the night’s Homecoming festivities, when her phone rang, and she asked Frazier to turn down music she was playing on her iPod. Simpson described a scene in which Frazier and her friends became aggressive, and began pushing her and pulling her hair.
Simpson began to cry as she told the story, according to 9 News Now, then explained how she was able to break free from the women and went to her drawer to get her inhaler. Feeling threatened, she said grabbed a pocket knife instead.
“I started swinging it,” Simpson told the court. “So they could stay away from me.”
Simpson proceeded to tell the court that’s when she saw blood flying and noticed Frazier had been cut in the throat, saying everything became “chaotic”, according to 9 News Now’s Andrea McCarren.
“I was scared. I started to panic. Foam was coming out of her mouth.”
She said she started to panic, then left the scene for her boyfriend’s house in Mitchellville.
Simpson said before the incident occurred she had complained to university officials that she was being harassed by Frazier, and wanted a new room, but was told “there were no rooms available.”
After the trial, Simpson’s defense told 9 News Now’s Ken Molestina their client sold the jury on the not guilty verdict with her compelling testimony, adding that after she took the stand they didn’t believe she was guilty of first-degree murder, second-degree murder, or any of the other charges brought against her.
Molestina says the courtroom was split down the middle during the proceedings, and the prosecution was stunned at the verdict, thinking they had proven it was in fact Frazier who had been bullied by Simpson, and not the other way around.
Simpson’s attorneys began the day trying to prove the first-degree murder charge should be reduced to involuntary manslaughter because their client was acting in self-defense; but by the day’s end she was able to convince the jury she wasn’t guilty of anything at all.