A former Marine and Iraq war veteran was sentenced to 4 to 15 years in prison today for the 2013 shooting death of his neighbor following a dispute over a dog running loose in their Walled Lake community.
Charles Jacob Simkins, 29, shackled in orange jail garb and surrounded by deputies, told the packed courtroom that he was sorry he had shot and killed Edwin Criswell the night of Dec. 17, 2013, in Criswell’s front yard.
“To Mr. Criswell’s family, I am very sorry. I know my words are empty. I wish probably as much as you that this never happened,” he said.
Simkins shot Criswell a few doors down from Simkins’ home in the 1100 block of Sigma Road, after the men grappled in Criswell’s front yard. Simkins, according to police, had gone to Criswell’s house looking for his beagle, which had been running loose in the neighborhood.
Simkins used a handgun to shoot Criswell in the legs, striking an artery. Criswell bled to death before help could arrive as Simkins panicked, called 911 and begged for ambulances to arrive.
The 911 call came in shortly before 10 p.m. that cold snowy night last December.
“Somebody help!” the man shouted to the operator. “There’s been a shooting. Send them quick. Call them quick…he’s on the ground.”
The man making the call, Charles Simkins, 28, had just shot his neighbor, Edwin Criswell, 45, in the leg, following a dispute over Simkins’ dog, which had been running their Walled Lake neighborhood.