COURTS & LEGAL

Rapper accused of fatally shooting 9-year-old girl could get plea deal

Apr 14, 2024, 1:53 PM | Updated: 1:55 pm

Tyrese Simmons, the man accused of firing into a Dallas apartment and killing a 9-year-old girl in ...

Tyrese Simmons, the man accused of firing into a Dallas apartment and killing a 9-year-old girl in a feud with another rapper, could get a plea deal. (KTVT)

(KTVT)

DALLAS, Texas (KTVT) — Tyrese Simmons, a man accused of firing into a Dallas apartment and killing a 9-year-old girl in a feud with another rapper, could get a plea deal.

Simmons’ criminal trial began earlier this week. It ended in a mistrial and now sources tell CBS News Texas that prosecutors are considering a plea deal. Simmons is facing life in prison if convicted.

Court documents show he will be back in a Dallas County courtroom on Monday for a plea hearing.

“[It] makes me very angry, very angry,” said Vaneta Andrews. “And I don’t think he should be getting off!”

Andrews is angry and unapologetic. She lives in the Roseland Townhomes, where in 2019 Brandoniya Bennett lost her life in a hail of bullets… bullets that police investigators say were intended for someone else. Even veteran officers at the time were shaken.

“She was 9 years old. She would have started school today,” said a Dallas police official during an emotional department briefing on the murder. “She got her nails done yesterday.”

And now Andrews is angry that the accused shooter could get a deal.

“What? Are they releasing him to do another one?” said an angry Andrews to no one in particular.

News of a possible plea has brought back painful memories for many in the community.

In August of 2019, the murder rate in Dallas was approaching a high not seen in a decade. But Brandoniya’s murder still struck a nerve.

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson spoke at her funeral, vowing “We cannot, I cannot allow her death to have been in vain.”

Police later identified Simmons as the suspect.

According to detectives, Simmons was feuding with another wannabe rapper over lyrics. And mistakenly fired into Brandoniya’s apartment instead of the rapper he was targeting.

He turned himself in to the police, and in December of 2019 was released on bond. Then just days before his trial was slated to begin in June of last year, police say he cut off his ankle monitor and disappeared. He was later arrested in Tulsa, Oklahoma after a standoff with police. He was returned to Dallas to stand trial.

A second suspect, Davonte Benton, is serving a 45-year prison sentence in Brandoniya’s murder. But Dallas police have always maintained that Simmons pulled the trigger… and now it appears that prosecutors are considering a plea.

“They just don’t care,” Andrews said, “because if they cared, they’d keep him in there and put him somewhere… he needs help!”

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Rapper accused of fatally shooting 9-year-old girl could get plea deal