Chesapeake, Virginia – The case of a convicted sex offender accused of murdering a two-year-old girl is heading to the grand jury. On Tuesday, 35-year-old Harvion Simpkins appeared before a judge for a preliminary hearing, where the commonwealth had to establish probable cause. The burden of proof at this stage is lower than beyond a reasonable doubt.
During the hearing, the commonwealth presented evidence, including body camera footage and testimony from the child’s mother, Tiesha Burton. Burton, under oath, stated that she had dropped off her daughters with Simpkins and his mother so she could go to work, as she had done routinely. She described her daughter as acting like her “normal self.” Simpkins’ mother confirmed this, noting that the little girl was always smiling and happy.
Burton recalled receiving a FaceTime call from Simpkins at around 7 p.m, in which he showed her the two girls playing. However, two hours later, an argument ensued, and Burton stated that she had received threatening text messages from Simpkins prior to leaving work. Feeling threatened, Burton asked Simpkins’ mother to pick up the children. The mother declined due to work obligations and advised Burton to request an early leave from her boss.
Burton decided to involve the police and asked for assistance in retrieving her children and belongings from a shared hotel room. Upon arrival, officers activated their body cameras, capturing sounds of distress and crying from the little girl, as well as arguments between the adults. In one exchange, Simpkins expressed frustration at Burton for involving the police. Burton testified that her daughter was upset, crying, and in pain whenever she touched her.
Hours later, the toddler passed away, prompting a Chesapeake homicide detective’s involvement. The detective collected evidence from room 239 of the hotel, including items with indications of red staining, which were consistent with blood. Simpkins was interviewed and explained that he had picked up the children from his mother’s house, noticing the little girl’s normal behavior but also an injury on her face and difficulty standing. Simpkins claimed he pressed on a wound he observed, causing the child to scream.
Simpkins denied causing harm to the two-year-old, but the judge determined that there was probable cause for a felony to have occurred. Consequently, the case will be presented to a grand jury, which will decide whether to proceed with indicting Simpkins.
In summary, a Chesapeake man, Harvion Simpkins, faces possible indictment by a grand jury for the murder of a two-year-old girl. The case advanced after a preliminary hearing presented evidence and witness testimony, including that of the child’s mother. The mother described leaving her daughters with Simpkins and his mother while she went to work, but an argument and threatening messages later ensued. Police were involved when the mother sought assistance in retrieving her children from a shared hotel room. The unfortunate death of the toddler prompted a detective’s investigation, resulting in the determination of probable cause and the case moving forward for grand jury consideration.