For the second time in a row, the attorney for Vincent Simmons scored a "win" in his efforts to overturn a 100-year prison sentence.
12th Judicial District Judge William "Billy" Bennett presided over a hearing Friday morning in which Simmons' attorney Justin Bonus had asked that District Attorney Charles Riddle be recused in the case. Bennett ruled that Riddle must be recused from the case because he would be a witness should an evidentiary hearing ever be ordered to determine if Simmons' sentence should be overturned or a new trial ordered.
Bennett ruled last month that 12th Judicial District Judge Kerry Spruill could have no further involvement in the case due to a previous professional relationship with potential witnesses in the case. Bonus said he was pleased with Bennett's ruling.
"Today was a good day," Bonus said. "Of course, it's a short victory. There is still an innocent man sitting in prison."
Riddle said he will be contacting the Attorney General's Office and will turn the entire case file over to the AG.
Bonus said he is looking forward to the Attorney General taking over the case "because we need some fresh eyes to look at this."