Accused murderer formally charged

Accused murderer formally charged

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Gene Kennedy reporting The man accused of stabbing a Bountiful woman to death will undergo a mental health test.

It was a violent weekend murder, and police quickly arrested a suspect. Today, Phillip Simmons was charged with first-degree murder.

Simmons was mumbling on his way out of court, a demeanor he exhibited when police arrested him. "We know when we initially did some interviews with him, he was very incoherent. The people at the jail indicate he's very incoherent," explained Davis County Deputy Attorney Steve Major.

So in the next 30 days, two doctors will evaluate whether Phillip Simmons is mentally fit to stand trial for murder.

Bountiful detectives say Saturday night, Simmons killed 57-year-old Suzanne Fry in her apartment during a fit of rage. He allegedly stabbed her more than 20 times.

Accused murderer formally charged

Major saw the crime scene. "It was a very violent scene. It was a very bloody scene. She was lying on her stomach at the time," he said. "He knocked over furniture, knocked holes in the wall and those types of things."

The victim's neighbors, family and friends had no idea she had been living with Simmons. "I know he had been living with her for some time, long enough to establish that as an address where he was receiving mail and other items," Major said.

After the crime, a police officer spotted Simmons a couple blocks from the apartment with blood on his hand and clothing. The officer took him into custody.

Today's charging document says Simmons told police "that he had done something bad." He further stated that he had fixed a plate of food and that an argument over the food had occurred and that in his mind he heard the word "murder" and a knife came out and he blacked out.

There's so much investigators are trying to figure out. They still don't know what the nature of the relationship was between Simmons and Fry, and they're not sure if he's been diagnosed with any kind of mental illness.

The deputy county attorney says Simmons may have had contact with Lakeview Hospital in Bountiful, but investigators are still looking into that as well.

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