Reporting Rochelle Ritchie
UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (WJZ)—A Bowie State student avoids jail time after a jury declares a not guilty verdict in the death of her college roommate.
Rochelle Ritchie spoke with Bowie students who call the verdict shocking.
It was September of last year when a 19-year-old student stabbed her 18-year-old roommate in the neck during a fight, killing her.
The defendant faced prison time if convicted. Instead the jury acquitted her on all counts, leaving many in disbelief.
Friends of Alexis Simpson say justice prevailed after a jury acquitted the former Bowie State University student of all charges in the death of her roommate Dominique Frazier.
“We never doubted because we know our friend,” Simpson’s friend said.
Simpson faced several charges for slashing her roommate’s throat during a fight in their dorm room, ranging from first-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter. But in an unexpected turn of events, Simpson would be cleared of any wrong doing.
“Man that’s just wrong. I thought the girl knew what she was doing,” said Brandon Lynch, senior.
News of the not guilty verdict spread across campus, many wondering how anyone could walk away with not even a slap on the wrist for a life taken.
“I feel like all the evidence was there. What do you mean not guilty?” said Kelsey Hobson, freshman.
Simpson’s attorneys argued their client acted in self-defense after being bullied and attacked by Frazier and her friends, the night of her death.
“She is tremendously remorseful for this incident,” said Christopher Griffiths, defense attorney.
The state however called Simpson’s action premeditated and argued she initiated the fight.
“We are very disappointed tonight. We presented what we thought was very clear and strong evidence,” said Angela Alsobrooks, state attorney.
On Thursday, Simpson took the stand in her own defense, recalling the night she and her roommate began fighting after she turned down Frazier’s music.
She says two of Frazier’s friends would jump in turning it into a brawl.
She ran back to her room and got a knife–a deadly decision. The girls would start fighting again. Simpson ultimately stabbing Frazier in the neck.
“I think she should have got some jail time because she did kill a person. Just a sad case,” said Calvin Crawley, junior.
The college is now trying to move forward in hopes of preventing anymore tragedies.
“We’ve done a lot of programming with violence mediation and how to resolve conflict and disagreements,” said Cassandra Robinson, director of relations.
The knife used in the stabbing death of Frazier was never found.
Simpson plans to continue her college education at another school.