Lamar County woman sentenced to life in prison

A 40-year-old Lamar County woman will spend the rest of her life in prison.
Published: Sep. 23, 2022 at 2:14 PM CDT

PURVIS, Miss. (WDAM) - A 40-year-old Lamar County woman will spend the rest of her life in prison.

A day after being convicted of first-degree murder and receiving stolen property by a 15th District Circuit Court jury, Samantha Simmons received maximum sentences on both counts Friday morning from Circuit Court Judge Anthony A. Mozingo.

Simmons was sentenced by Mozingo to life in prison with no opportunity for parole for the 2018 murder of Thomas Burns of Purvis.

Prosecutors presented a savage picture of Burns’ death, saying that Simmons first choked him with a zip tie, bound his ankles and wrists together with zip ties and then stuffed his body in a freezer.

“We are pleased with this sentence and hope that the family of the victim finds some peace,” Fifteenth Circuit District Attorney Hall Kittrell said. “This case stems from the murder of Thomas Burns, a 54-year-old widower and Purvis resident. He was dating Samantha Simmons when she choked him to death with a zip tie, tied his wrists and ankles together with zip ties and placed him in a chest freezer in his home.

“Over the course of a month, Simmons sold off most of Mr. Burns’s vehicles and personal property until his neighbors and brother discovered his body in the freezer. The investigation revealed that Simmons had the key to a padlock that had been placed on the freezer and her DNA was on the zip ties on Mr. Burns’s body.”

Mozingo also gave Simmons a 20-year sentence on the stolen property charge, and ordered the two sentences to run consecutively.

“Our mission is to ensure that Lamar County is a safe place to live and Raise our families,” Kittrell said. “We will continue to pursue and convict violent offenders and get them off the streets.”

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