RUSSELL COUNTY, Ala. (WRBL)— The murder trial of a Columbus man accused of shooting a man inside an unlicensed nightclub in Phenix City continued Tuesday morning.

The mother of the victim, Angela Sharp, tells WRBL what it is like being in the courtroom three years after her son’s death.

“It’s kind of devastating,” Sharp said. “I’ve been waiting three years for this and I’m just ready for it to be over with, no matter what the outcome may be.”

Keon Simmons was shot dead just hours after his 27th birthday. Jaquandre Bowen is accused of killing Simmons. Here’s Sharp’s response when asked if she believes Bowen killed her son.

“He did. He did, yes, he did,” Sharp responded. “I have had several people tell me that he was the one that did it. And like I told the D.A., I live in a city where it’s no large city, and they’re not going to step up and say that he actually did it. So, I just pray to the Lord that he gets convicted.”

Bowen has not been convicted of any crimes. Bowen’s family was in the courtroom, they told WRBL they believe he is innocent but declined an interview request.

Bowen’s cousin, Cassandra Williams, took the stand Tuesday afternoon. She was in the room at the time of the shooting in March, 2020. Williams says she saw Simmons ‘vibing to the music,’ before the shooting and does not recall any altercations prior to shots ringing out.

She also testified sometime after the shooting she called Bowen and told him, “Dang, you could have hit me.” However, Tuesday she said she did not remember Bowen’s response. Williams is expected back on the stand Wednesday morning.

The responding officer and a crime scene tech with the Phenix City Police Department also took the stand Tuesday. The defense questioned why no fingerprints or DNA evidence was taken from the scene. The crime scene tech who processed the scene said all the evidence was photographed and collected. He did say the scene could have been disturbed as more than 10 people were standing around Simmons’ body when officers arrived. Body camera footage played in court also shows witnesses saying Simmons’ body had been laying on the floor close to an hour before police were called to the scene. Surveillance footage and alcohol was also taken off the premises before police arrived.

According to Chief Medical Examiner for the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences, Dr. Edward Reedy, Simmons was shot five times and died of multiple gunshot wounds. More than 10 shell casings and two projectiles were found on the scene.

Four of the state’s 36 witnesses were called to the stand Tuesday, counsel expects this trial to last through the end of the week.

Previous Reports

Aug. 21, 2023: ‘There was bad blood,’ 2020 Russell County murder trial begins | WRBL

April 6, 2020: Phenix City police arrest murder suspect in connection to March 14 shooting | WRBL

March 14, 2020: Two overnight Phenix City shootings leave 27-year-old man dead, another wounded | WRBL