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Newton judge sets bond for ‘jealous’ husband, 81, accused of shooting 80-year-old wife
Horace Johnson Judicial Center.jpg
The Judge Horace J. Johnson Jr. Judicial Center in downtown Covington. - photo by Tom Spigolon

COVINGTON, Ga. — A Newton County judge has granted bond to an 81-year-old man accused of shooting and wounding his wife in October after saying he believed she was cheating on him.

Superior Court Judge Eugene Benton set a $20,000 bond for Godfrey Simpson after Simpson’s granddaughter testified she would be able to monitor his movements because he had trouble walking and relied on others for transportation.

Simpson is charged with one count each of Aggravated Assault and Possession Of Firearm or Knife During Commission of or Attempt to Commit Certain Felonies.

He was arrested Oct. 24 and spent more than a month in the Newton County Jail before his release on bond after the hearing.

Assistant District Attorney Alex Stone told Benton during a bond hearing Tuesday, Dec. 1, that Newton County deputies were called to Simpson’s home at a Conyers address in October.

They found Godfrey’s wife Joan, 80, with a gunshot wound to her stomach and Godfrey with a handgun within his reach.

Stone said Simpson reportedly had accused his wife of 58 years of cheating on him.

However, since his arrest he had been contacting his wife and told her the shooting he allegedly did had been accidental — to which Mrs. Simpson had agreed in writing, Stone said.

Mr. Simpson’s attorney, David Lamalva, said he was not asking Benton to allow the suspect — who is retired and suffers from chronic arthritis — to return to his home to live with his wife again.

Simpson, who did not speak during the hearing, listened to the hearing remotely.

Lamalva said Joan Simpson — whose condition after the shooting was not disclosed — had moved since the incident from the Fieldstone Farms subdivision home she had shared with her husband for 20 years.

She now lived with her daughter and granddaughter in Lithonia, he said.

Benton said he wondered why the suspect’s wife would be OK with his release on bond.

“If somebody shot me in the stomach, I wouldn’t want them out,” Benton said.

Mrs. Simpson said during testimony her husband “sometimes talks bad.”  

“I guess he’s jealous but I don’t want nobody else,” Mrs. Simpson said.

Natasha Simpson said she was willing to put up her Lithonia home as collateral to guarantee his return to court to face the charges.

Benton set a $20,000 bond for Simpson’s release with a number of conditions, including a requirement for wearing an ankle monitor, and not having access to firearms or alcoholic beverages where he lived.

In other court action last week, Superior Court Judge Layla Zon denied a bond request from accused murderer Alex Khalil Smith.

Smith, 27, of Monticello is charged with the murder of Cassandra Arnold, 32, of Conyers, whom a Monticello newspaper reported was his girlfriend.

Newton County sheriff's deputies found Arnold with multiple gunshot wounds at a Covington residence July 8. She was transported to an area hospital where she later died.

Smith is charged with one count each of Malice Murder and Felony Murder, and one count each of Aggravated Assault and Possession of a Firearm during Commission of a Felony.