Augusta man sentenced to prison term for repeated harassment of neighbor

An Augusta man who terrorized a neighbor for the past five years was sentenced to a four-year prison term Thursday.

 

Richard H. Simpson Jr., 42, pleaded guilty in Richmond County Superior Court to a reduced charge of terroristic threats. Judge Michael N. Annis accepted the negotiated sentence of the prison term to be followed by one year on probation. A special condition imposed as part of the sentence is that Simpson agreed to a permanent protective order that requires him to stay at least 1,000 yards away from Jennifer Holton and her family.

It started in 2012 after Simpson moved in with his parents next door to the Holton family. It was calls and texts, continual stalking to the point her children were afraid to go outside and she was afraid to be in her own home if her husband was gone, Jennifer Holton told the judge Thursday.

According to court records, Simpson was ordered to have no contact with the Holton family in August 2012 as a condition of his one-year probation sentence for stealing a cat trap out of the Holton family’s yard. In March 2013, Richmond County Sheriff deputies warned Simpson twice to stop calling Jennifer Holton. In 2014 he was charged with disorderly conduct for allegedly telling neighborhood children he intended to poison the Holton family’s dog. He was also charged with reckless conduct for allegedly trying to run her off the road.

In 2015 he was sentenced to one year of probation for making harassing calls to Jennifer Holton – a sentenced revoked when he was charged with stalking and indecent exposure for masturbating in his yard next to the Holton family’s chain linked fence in view of her.

In October 2016, after he completed 11 months for the misdemeanor crimes, Jennifer Holton hired an attorney seeking an order of protection, which was granted for three years. One month later, Simpson was making obscene and threatening calls to her again.

Simpson’s defense attorney Thomas McCants said Simpson was sorry Thursday for his conduct and vowed it would not happen again. He understands that the permanent restraining order means he will have to live elsewhere.

Reach Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226 or sandy.hodson@augustachronicle.com.

 

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