August 19, 2014
Court documents show a 24-year-old Grand Rapids man was “defenseless” when he was kicked in the head during an attack at the Sibley Elementary School playground in May.
Scott Simerson died on Sunday, Aug. 10. Police said he suffered multiple head injuries in the attack allegedly carried out by two juveniles and two older teens.
Bystanders took cell phone video of the attack, Grand Rapids Police Lt. Pat Merrill said.
Police said Simerson was watching two teenagers on the Sibley Elementary playground when a conflict developed with another group of teens. The attack on Simerson was not provoked, police said after the incident.
Prior to Simerson’s death, Donmard White, 17, and Robert Kelly, 18, were charged with assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder. White pleaded guilty to the charge in late July and is scheduled to be sentenced in September, while Kelly awaits a jury trial, court records show.
Two juveniles, ages 15 and 16, are also held on assault charges connected to the crime.
Authorities expect that autopsy results will take several weeks. If the medical examiner’s report shows the assault was a significant contributing factor in Simerson’s death, a report will be forwarded to the Kent County prosecutor for review and a change in charges to reflect homicide.
If authorities pursue homicide charges, Merrill said White could be arraigned on the higher charge. A new conviction would supersede the sentence in the assault case.
Police wrote in court records that White and Kelly allegedly kicked Simerson in the head when he was down, “inflicting a serious head injury.”
Kelly is held on $50,000 bond, jail records show. White was remanded to jail pending sentencing.
Simerson was a new father and engaged to be married at the time he was attacked, friends said.