Timberview High School shooter pleads guilty to new charge, avoids second trial

Timberview High School shooter Timothy Simpkins will not face a second trial after all. This week, he entered a guilty plea to a new charge in the case. 

Simpkins is already serving a 12-year sentence for attempted capital murder for a shooting that wounded a teacher and two students at the Mansfield ISD high school in Arlington in 2021

However, the 12-year sentence was far short of what prosecutors had asked for.

"Our opinion was this was nothing more than vindictiveness," said Simpkins’ attorney, Marquetta Clayton, after he pleaded guilty Thursday to a single charge of unlawfully carrying a weapon. 

The Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office recently brought new charges against Simpkins. 

Timothy Simpkins in court July 17, 2023

Criminal defense attorney Russell Wilson is not associated with the case. He said it is unusual for a defendant to face additional charges involving facts a jury already knew at the sentencing. 

"Ordinarily, once a person's been sentenced, the criminal justice system has spoken," he said.

"I think this whole situation, which was a first for me to have a client be brought back up on more charges simply because the state was not satisfied with a jury's verdict, is chilling to me," Clayton said. "Because we have our criminal justice system. We have the process of a jury trial. And that's how the system is just supposed to work."


Timothy Simpkins found guilty of attempted capital murder for Timberview HS shooting

The young man who injured two students and a teacher in the 2021 shooting at Timberview High School has been convicted of attempted capital murder.

The DA had pursued the new charges, two of which were related to a shootout at a RaceTrac gas station that happened prior to the shooting at the high school.

Simpkins had testified about both incidents at the trial in 2023.

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

Simpkins had faced four new charges. But after Thursday's plea deal, three of the charges were dropped with him agreeing to a two-year sentence for the one charge of unlawfully carrying a weapon. 

The Tarrant County DA released a statement after the plea deal stating in part, "This office does not participate in or condone vindictive prosecution. Additional charges were filed against this defendant due to admissions during his testimony in his first trial. All of his cases are resolved."

The plea deal carries a two-year sentence that will be served at the same time as his current sentence. 

"For the prosecution, they received an additional conviction," Wilson said. "For the defense, they received a sentence. It didn't extend the sentence of a young man."

Clayton added that she believes the district attorney's actions wasted taxpayer dollars while some inmates have been waiting 3-4 years for their first trial. 

Simpkins will be eligible for parole in five years.