Timberview HS Shooting Trial: Defense rests, closing arguments delayed until Thursday

Defense lawyers for the Timberview High School shooting suspect rested their case Wednesday morning.

Both sides were set to give closing arguments after lunch in the trial for Timothy Simpkins on Wednesday. However, they were delayed until Thursday after the judge and attorneys spent hours working to arrive at the specific instructions to be given to the jury or what’s known as the jury’s "charge."

Simpkins was in court Wednesday while the prosecutors and his defense team went back and forth with the judge over terms and language they’d like added, excluded, or explained to the jury in detail.

The defense has made some requests involving past cases cited as precedent. The judge has agreed to some things and overruled others. 

Also among the courtroom discussions was the legal definition of attempted murder and the theory of self-defense and how both can or cannot be interpreted.

The defense asked the judge to include in the instructions that jurors could consider the shooting was justified by self-defense.

Judge Ryan Hill ultimately decided the jury cannot consider the self-defense argument. Then he presented the jury with the instructions.

He’s charged for the 2021 shooting inside the school, which is located in Arlington but in the Mansfield Independent School District.

Prosecutors said Simpkins, who was 18 at the time, intended to kill his 15-year-old classmate, Zachius Selby. The two reportedly had a violent history.

The jury on Tuesday watched cellphone video of the moment Selby started punching Simpkins in class.

Surveillance video shown in court shows Simpkins following Selby out into the hallway and firing more shots with Selby on the floor.

A witness described what happened after the chaos began.

"When I was running, I felt a quick, really fast, just a real fast burn. That’s when I stopped but a teacher kept telling me, ‘We’ve got to go. We have to go,’" said Saniya McNeely.

"Where were you grazed?" an attorney asked.

"On my side, left side," McNeely replied.

Timothy Simpkins in court July 19, 2023

In addition to the two students, two teachers were also injured. One was shot, and the other was hurt while trying to run to safety.

The state argued there was a delay between the fight and when Simpkins started to shoot, intending to kill Selby. 

The defense team does not deny Simpkins fired all those shots.

Simpkins' defense team is trying to convince jurors he used the gun to defend himself and claimed he was being bullied.

Closing arguments are set to begin on Thursday at 8:30 a.m. 

Simpkins is facing several charges including attempted murder, aggravated assault, and for bringing a gun onto a school campus. He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.


You can watch the trial live on FOX4News.com and the FOX 4 YouTube Channel.