At about 5:30 p.m. on November 7, 2006, James Simmons, a technology consultant, was arrested in the University District of Seattle, Washington by a King County sheriff’s deputy on charges of dealing crack cocaine.
The deputy, James Schrimpsher, claimed that Simmons struggled, causing him to use a taser to subdue him.
At trial in 2007, Schrimpsher testified that Simmons had confessed to selling the drugs. Simmons testified that he was giving someone directions when Schrimpsher accosted him. He said that he never admitted to possessing cocaine, that Schrimpsher planted drugs on him and that the bus stop where Schrimpsher said the arrest was made did not exist.
Simmons was convicted and sentenced to one year and one day in prison.
After the trial, King County Sheriff Sue Rahr disciplined two officers for dishonesty relating to a drug arrest they made in December 2006. One resigned. The other, Schrimpsher, was fired on December 4, 2007.
On December 12, 2009, Simmons filed a motion to vacate his conviction based on the action taken against Schrimpsher. On January 13, 2010, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office dismissed the charges.
– Maurice Possley