Rhode Island Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin today announced that Leon Taylor (age 34), of Providence, pleaded nolo contendere to one count of manslaughter for the June 9, 2014 stabbing death of David Simmons. Under the terms of the plea, Superior Court Justice Kristin E. Rodgers sentenced Taylor to 30 years with 25 years to serve and the remainder suspended with probation.
Had the case proceeded to trial, the State was prepared to prove that Leon Taylor stabbed David Simmons one time in the chest causing his death. The State would have shown that in the late afternoon on June 9, 2014, the defendant and two relatives were walking along Dartmouth Street in Providence when they encountered David Simmons. The defendant and the victim engaged in a verbal argument during which the defendant stabbed Simmons in the chest.
When rescue personnel arrived, Simmons was found to be lying on the ground and unresponsive. The Medical Examiner determined that the stab wound that gone through the front and back of his lungs, through his ribs and severed his aorta.
After initially fleeing to North Carolina, the defendant turned himself in to the Providence Police a week after the stabbing.
Providence Police Detective Daniel O'Connell led the investigation and Special Assistant Attorney General Kaitlin Tracey prosecuted the case on behalf of the Office of Attorney General.