Grand Jury Indicts Simmons in Deadly Hopkins Co. Fire

A Hopkins County grand jury indicts the brother of a man killed in a fire in Hanson earlier this month.
A Hopkins County grand jury indicts the brother of a man killed in a fire in Hanson earlier this month. Douglas Simmons is charged with first degree murder, first degree burglary, and arson for the death of James Simmons.

Hopkins County Sheriff's deputies say stolen firearms from James Simmons' home in Hanson were one of the clues that led to charges against his brother Douglas.

Investigators say they found guns belonging to James in Douglas's vehicle, when Douglas was caught by Madisonville Police outside a Madisonville church on July 5. Deputies considered Simmons a person of interest in the case.

He's accused of killing James at his home in Hanson on July 5, then burning the home down. Authorities learned of the fire around the same time of Simmons arrest.

Detectives credit cooperation between law enforcement agencies and fire departments in leading to the new charges.

"When everybody is working together, you only get more accomplished," said Detective Jonathan Barnes. "You can't do it on your own. If you do it on your own, you're not going to get as much information as you ca when you work together as when departments work."

Detectives say Simmons had a protective order issued against him, which prohibited him from owning guns. He's scheduled to be arranged on the new charges Friday afternoon.
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