Timberview HS shooting trial: Convicted shooter sentenced to 12 years in prison

A former Timberview High School student who opened fire in a classroom and wounded three people has been sentenced to 12 years in prison.

After a six-day trial, Timothy Simpkins stood stoic as he was sentenced to 12 years in prison Monday evening. 

The 19-year-old was convicted of attempted capital murder for shooting and injuring three people inside Timberview High School in 2021. 

Simpkins’ mother was seen emotional behind her son as he was taken away to start serving his time. 

Simpkins' defense team offered their reaction to reporters after the jury delivered their decision. 

"Pleased. Very pleased with it," said defense attorney Lesa Pamplin. "He wanted to let everybody know what his state of mind was."

Simpkins was the final person to take the stand Monday morning before his fate was in the hands of the jury. 

"I just understand what I did was wrong. I’m sorry. I’m truly sorry. I just ask for another chance," he said.

After a violent classroom brawl on Oct. 6, 20021, Simpkins pulled a gun from his waistband and fired toward the student who’d attacked him. Zacchaeus Selby was shot twice more after he’d fallen to the floor in the hallway.  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 one week before the school shooting. 

Prosecutors say the Timberview shooting was retribution for a robbery one week prior. 

Simpkins claimed was robbed of drugs and money and also was pistol-whipped during a meet-up at an Arlington RaceTrac. Simpkins was caught on surveillance video shooting at a vehicle driving away. 

Prosecutors pushed for 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 up to the school shooting.

"At 5:15 the day after, you look up extended clip for a 45. On 9/27, you’re not looking up how do I report a crime. Did you?" asked prosecutor Lloyd Whelchel. 


Timberview HS shooting trial: Testimony continues Monday in punishment phase

A teen who opened fire in a North Texas school, wounding three people, will soon learn how long he will spend behind bars.

"No, sir," Simpkins said. 

"You didn’t look up the Arlington Police Department’s main number? You didn’t look up, ‘What if I get robbed while smoking marijuana?’ Did you?" Whelchel asked.

"No, sir," Simpkins said.

"You cannot rehabilitate a lack of empathy and a cold-blooded heart," said prosecutor Rose Anna Salinas. "We as a community, you as jurors, must send a message out because we are tired of wringing our hands in desperation about these shootings. To do it in a school, a sacred place of learning is even worse."

Meanwhile, the defense pleaded for leniency. 

"Probation is set up to rehabilitate. That's what it’s for. To give a person an opportunity and the tools," said defense attorney Lesa Pamplin. "Tim may have grew up in a middle-class family, but it’s not an affluenza family. It’s not an affluenza defense. What he did was very wrong. If you feel in your heart of hearts, ‘I can’t give him probation,’ I want you to consider the minimum of five years."

Jurors deliberated for nearly five hours Monday. A punishment between 5 to 99 years was on the table. 

The jury unanimously decided Simpkins’ punishment would be 12 years. 

Following the verdict, Calvin Pettit, the teacher who Simpkins shot, faced Simpkins. He said while he doesn’t forgive him, this day is closure. 

"Your life is valuable. And you do deserve a second chance," he said. "But not right now."

Prosecutors declined to make any on-camera comments. 

However, Pamplin offered her final thoughts with the trial now finished. 

"It is what it is. 12 years a sentence. He has to go to TDC," she said. "He has to go to TDC. I know they don’t want him to, but I think it’s a just verdict on the facts of this case."

In a statement released, prosecutor Lloyd Whelchel said, "We take school shootings seriously. This should not be the norm in our society."

Simpkins will start serving his sentence immediately. He must also pay a $6,000 fine. He has the right to appeal his sentence.