Man accused of murdering mother of nine

John Simmons, Photo: Memphis Police Department.
John Simmons, Photo: Memphis Police Department.

(WMC-TV) - Sources inside Shelby County Criminal Court say a Memphis man is on suicide watch, after he allegedly told his mother and daughter he planned to murder his estranged wife and then carried out his threat.

Brenda Suggs-Simmons, 27, was a mother of 9. She had 6 biological children and she took in another 3 who were born to her ex-boyfriend.

Loved ones say that one act alone showed the kind of person she was.

Mementos of love now rest outside the entrance of the southeast Shelby County home where Suggs-Simmons took her last breath.

Memphis police say John Simmons shot his estranged wife in the back of the head with a shotgun.

Charlynda Sims says her best friend had finally found the strength to leave her husband's abuse.

"She told me she was going to leave him and she did, but she was going back to get clothes and he was there," she said.

Police say Simmons told his daughter last Wednesday he planned to kill Suggs-Simmons. Officers say he told his mother his plan Thursday, just hours before the murder at the home he once shared with his wife on Hunters Place Drive.

Sims describes her friend as a giver.

"No matter what happened, she still loved you and she'd still take care of you," she said. "I honestly believe, even though she's in heaven, she's praying for John."

Simmons has an extensive rap sheet, from domestic violence to drug paraphernalia possession.

Police say Simmons took pills after the murder and threatened to kill himself.

Sims describes Simmons as a master manipulator.

"I have very little understanding as far as he is concerned right now because he didn't just take Brenda," she said. "He took a mother, sister, friend. He took so many things from us."

Suggs-Simmons' wake is at N.J. Ford Funeral Home from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. Thursday and at Shady Grove Baptist Church. Her funeral will be at Shady Grove Baptist Church Friday at 11 a.m.

Simmons' arraignment is delayed until tomorrow because he threatened to harm himself.

He has been charged with first degree murder.

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