Sims Found Guilty on Felony Murder, Voluntary Manslaughter

A Stephens County jury finds Steve A. Sims, Jr. guilty of felony murder and voluntary manslaughter in the death of Shawn Hancock of Toccoa following a week-long trial that concluded Friday afternoon.

The jury found Sims, Jr. not guilty of malice murder. Voluntary manslaughter was a lesser included offense.

Sims, Jr. was also found guilty of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of a firearm during commission of a felony.

He was found not guilty of aggravated assault.

The jury deliberated over the case for more than five hours beginning Friday morning, coming back with a verdict at around 4 p.m. Friday.

The trial began with jury selection on Monday. Opening statements and testimony began on Tuesday and concluded on Thursday afternoon.

During closing statements on Thursday, defense attorney Gerald Griggs again argued that Sims, Jr. killed Hancock in self-defense. Meanwhile, Mountain Judicial Circuit District Attorney Brian Rickman argued in his closing that this shooting did not have to happen.

Sims Jr. killed Hancock during an altercation between the two men at Sims Jr.’s South Sage Street home in Toccoa back in March.

Sentencing was set for 9 a.m. Wednesday, also in Mountain Judicial Circuit Superior Court in Toccoa.