DWI Conviction Appeal Denied

An appeal by a local man against his DWI conviction was dismissed by a court, stating there was sufficient evidence to uphold the verdict. However, the case will return to Alamance Superior Court to reduce his sentence for associated charges. Timothy Lee Simpson II, aged 34, was found guilty in November 2022 of driving while impaired, resisting an officer, and being intoxicated and disruptive. His sentence amounted to three years imprisonment.

The court documents reveal that in April 2021, two officers from the Graham Police Department encountered Simpson hiding behind a building, and a crashed car about 30 yards from him. Observing a damaged tree, recent tire tracks and dirt on the road, the officers concluded that Simpson had hit the tree and tried to drive away. When Simpson was found at a nearby fast-food restaurant, he denied driving the crashed vehicle and responded with profanities to the officers. Officers noted Simpson’s alcohol scent, slurred speech, instability, red eyes, and a head injury.

Upon his arrest, Simpson resisted, leading multiple officers to forcibly place him inside a patrol car. At the jail, his refusal to exit the car resulted in him being found in contempt by the magistrate. A car key fitting the crashed vehicle was found in his pocket.

In his appeal, Simpson claimed the trial judge wrongly dismissed two potential jurors who had negative experiences with law enforcement, whilst maintaining jurors who had favorably expressed their opinion about the police. The Court of Appeals ruled that Simpson failed to prove the jury was biased against him. Simpson also contested the lack of evidence proving he drove the car or when it was driven. However, the court was not persuaded by this argument, citing circumstantial evidence pointing to him as the driver and his impairment during the crash.

Nevertheless, the appeal court has agreed to a new sentencing hearing due to an acknowledged error by the prosecutors regarding Simpson’s charges of resisting an officer and public intoxication. Simpson is currently expected to be released from prison in July 2025, as per the N.C. Department of Adult Correction.

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