A man accused of taking part in a home invasion that left a Bowling Green woman critically wounded from a gunshot was sentenced Monday to 25 years in prison.

Michael Jerome Simmons Jr., 24, was sentenced in Warren Circuit Court in a total of four criminal cases.

He pleaded guilty in November to charges of first-degree burglary, first-degree assault, first-degree wanton endangerment and second-degree persistent felony offender in a Dec. 9, 2018, incident at Jessica Freeman’s North Hill Drive apartment in which Freeman, who was 21 at the time, was shot while she was with her infant son.

Freeman underwent multiple surgeries following the shooting.

During questioning from the Bowling Green Police Department, Freeman named Simmons as the person who shot her, according to prior court testimony.

Simmons’ cousin, Cornelius Simmons, 33, of Bowling Green, was also placed at the home invasion by someone who lived with Cornelius Simmons.

That person told police that Cornelius Simmons told them he kicked in Freeman’s door and had no idea that a shooting would occur, according to police records.

Cornelius Simmons is charged with first-degree burglary, complicity to first-degree assault, theft by unlawful taking (firearm) and third-degree criminal mischief in the incident.

He has pleaded not guilty and has a pretrial conference set for March 23.

Investigation by the BGPD linked Michael Simmons to two other burglaries Dec. 8, 2018, at a pair of Highland Way apartments.

Surveillance video footage obtained by police from outside one of the apartments appears to show Michael Simmons carrying a rifle during the burglary, court documents said.

Michael Simmons also reportedly sent Facebook messages incriminating himself in the burglaries.

In an arrest warrant, Dillon said Michael Simmons had “conversations (online) with family and friends about robberies, drug trafficking and trafficking in illicit firearms.”

A grand jury returned a total of four indictments against Michael Simmons charging him with numerous offenses.

He went on to plead guilty to the crimes for which he was sentenced in the shooting case, along with two counts of first-degree burglary and three counts of possession of a handgun by a convicted felon.

Michael Simmons’ status as a persistent felony offender enhanced his punishment from 20 years to 25 years, and he will be required to spend 20 years behind bars before he can be considered for parole.

At the time of the shooting, Michael Simmons was on parole, having recently been released after serving around four years of a 10-year sentence on two counts of second-degree robbery, for which he was convicted in 2015.

Michael Simmons will begin serving the 25-year sentence after completing his sentence on the robbery counts.

– Follow courts reporter Justin Story on Twitter @jstorydailynews or visit bgdailynews.com.


(1) comment


Pretty heinous crime. He clearly owes a debt to society, not to mention to the young woman he shot & her infant son. Still, I can't believe that 20 years behind bars will lead to rehabilitation. Such a waste of a life.

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