|Roman Colosseum lit to protest an execution|
Simmons and an accomplice, Timothy Milano, were both convicted of killing Wolfe after an argument over the collection of a drug debt. Authorities concluded that it was Milano who shot and killed Wolfe but it was Simmons, a butcher, who subsequently dismembered the body and raped Wolfe's girlfriend. Simmons was sentenced to death for the murder and two life terms on charges of kidnapping and raping the woman. Milano was sentenced to life for capital murder and 30 years for kidnapping.
Appeals to allow Simmons' current counsel to pursue claims based on ineffective assistance of prior counsel and mental illness were rejected. A petition to the United States Supreme Court stated that "post-conviction counsel did not arrange for Mr. Simmons to undergo any mental health evaluations and it appears that counsel completely overlooked raising any claims regarding Mr. Simmons' addiction, posttraumatic stress disorder and brain dysfunction even though a cursory investigation would have raised a number of red flags."
This was the 22nd execution in the United States this year and the sixth in Mississippi (the third this month).