Man accused in fatal stabbing over food in Bountiful headed back to state hospital

Jun 5 2012 - 6:39pm


Phillip Simmons
Phillip Simmons

FARMINGTON -- A judge ordered a man who police say stabbed a woman 51 times back to Utah State Hospital.

Phillip Simmons, 40, appeared Tuesday in 2nd District Court. He is charged with one count of first-degree felony murder.

Police said Simmons got into an argument over food with Suzanne Fry, of Bountiful, then stabbed her Jan. 20, 2008.

In court Tuesday, defense attorney Mark Arrington said he has observed Simmons' mental health, which has deteriorated.

This will be the second time Simmons has been sent to the hospital to receive treatment to restore his mental competency to stand trial.

Arrington also submitted a report, dated May 26, from a doctor who said Simmons is showing signs of schizophrenia syndrome.

Deputy Davis County Attorney Steve Major said his office agrees with the doctor's assessment of Simmons.

Simmons was found incompetent to proceed in April 2008 and was put on a waiting list to be transported to Utah State Hospital. He was sent to the hospital in September 2009 and stayed for 18 months, according to the court website.

During the past four years, several dates have been set for a jury trial, but they have been canceled while the attorneys wait for reports concerning Simmons' mental state.

The jury trial that was set for February was canceled after Arrington learned Simmons had brain surgery at age 15 after a horse kicked him in the head.

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