MILWAUKEE (July 17, 2013)—John Henry Spooner, 76, was convicted of first-degree intentional homicide Wednesday in the shooting death of his 13-year-old neighbor whom he suspected of burglary.
Spooner was charged with shooting Darius Simmons in the chest last year after accusing the teenager of breaking into his home and stealing weapons.
The jury’s guilty verdict wrapped up the first half of the trial.
Spooner had pleaded insanity, so the defense now must prove that he was suffering from mental illness at the time of the shooting, which prevented him from knowing right from wrong.
In this second phase, the burden of proof shifts to the defense.
Spooner's attorney, Franklyn Gimbel, says he has an expert who will testify that Spooner was mentally incompetent at the time.