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Fatal Shooting Suspect In Cambria County Appears In Court

A Cambria County man accused of fatally shooting his wife with a shotgun, after she reportedly threatened to leave him, appeared in court Wednesday for a preliminary hearing.

Police say William Simmons, of Patton, is facing murder and aggravated assault charges in the death of 66-year-old Rebecca Simmons.

Investigators say on February 22nd, police were dispatched to a residence along Grozanick Road, in Chest Township, after Rebecca Simmons reportedly called 911 to report that she had been shot by her husband.

During Wednesday’s hearing, prosecutors played that 911 audio which included Rebecca Simmons telling dispatchers that she had “been shot in the back” and that she “needed help.”

Officials say the audio continues with a second gunshot being heard and then William Simmons picking up the phone and telling the 911 operator that he is “going to kill himself.”

A second audio recording that was played in court appears to include William Simmons telling the responding troopers that he “shot his wife.”

Police say Simmons later admitted to shooting his wife with a 12-gauge shotgun following an argument in which she reportedly told him that she planned on leaving him.

“She’s leaving me. Taking everything we worked for after 49 years,” Simmons can be heard saying.

Police say Simmons also admitted that he did not check on his wife to see if she was alive, and instead picked up the phone and called his daughter to tell her that he had just killed her mother.

Several family members were present during Wednesday’s hearing and were all visibly distraught during the playing of the 911 audio recordings.

Investigators then testified that Rebecca Simmons was found in the furnace room of the home after being shot through a doorway.

Authorities also noted that William Simmons appeared visibly upset when he was questioned about the shooting, and reportedly stated that “he was sorry for what he did.”

While Simmons’ defense argued that the prosecution did not “meet their burden of proof,” Judge Zungali denied a bail request in the case and the charges were bound for court.

Simmons’ next court date has not yet been scheduled

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