Clipped From The Courier-Journal
Guilty plea withdrawn in manslaughter case ; By CARY B. WILLIS " Caurtar-Jownal Caurtar-Jownal Caurtar-Jownal Start Writer A 42-year-old 42-year-old 42-year-old 42-year-old 42-year-old man who pleaded 'guilty last month to manslaughter -was -was allowed to withdraw his plea yesterday. Harold Simpson Sr., of the 1400 block of Hazel Avenue, pleaded guilty March 26 to second-degree second-degree second-degree manslaughter in the shooting death trf William E. Bibb. According to court records. Bibb, 32, died after being shot in the chest Feb. 17, 1984, outside Simpson's home. ".However, after learning that Jefferson Jefferson Circuit Judge Ellen Ewing planned to hand him a longer prison sentence than that recommended by a prosecutor, Simpson said he wanted wanted to withdraw his guilty plea. The jydge allowed him to do so and scheduled a jury trial for July 25. Simpson had been charged with murder, but he pleaded guilty to the amended charge as part of a plea agreement with Assistant Common--wealth's Common--wealth's Common--wealth's Common--wealth's Attorney Thorn Marshall. -7 -7 Simpson entered what is known as an "Alford plea," whereby a defendant defendant maintains his innocence but .'pleads guilty because he believes there is sufficient evidence for a Tjury to convict him. As part of the plea agreement, Marshall said he would recommend five years in prison, the minimum fof second-degree second-degree second-degree manslaughter. In an interview yesterday, Marshall Marshall said he did not seek the approval approval of Bibb's family before entering entering into the plea agreement with Simpson. On April 15, Bibb's brother, brother, Hassan Aadil Sharif, filed a statement with the case, calling the plea arrangement "a slap in the face" to Bibb's family. Sentencing Simpson to only five years would be "a gross miscarriage of justice," Sharif said in the statement statement In an order written yesterday, Ewing said that after considering the complaints of Sharif and Bibb's mother, she intended to sentence Simpson to 10 years in prison rather than the five Marshall recommended. recommended. Michael Davis, Simpson's attorney, attorney, said his client wanted out of the plea agreement after learning of Ewing's intention. Simpson testified last month that he got into an argument with Bibb and told Bibb to leave his house. Simpson said that, after Bibb left, he fired a "warning shot" at the ground out the front door. He cocked the hammer again and the door swung shut on his arm, causing the gun to fire accidentally, Simpson testified. The second shot struck Bibb. Marshall, however, told the judge he could produce evidence that Simpson was not standing in the doorway when the gun was fired. .