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Spooner trial begins Monday for murder of teenage neighbor

MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - A 76-year-old Milwaukee man is scheduled to go on trial Monday for the murder of his 13-year-old neighbor.

According to prosecutors, John Spooner believed that young Darius Simmons broke into his house and stole his guns. A couple days later, police said Spooner shot the boy to death while he was taking out his family’s garbage.

Spooner has pleaded insanity to the killing.

Spooner is white, and Darius is black. Soon after the incident, Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition asked the state to consider the killing a hate crime, and to file additional charges besides homicide. That never happened.

Neither side has commented on the case lately.

A year ago, defense lawyer Franklyn Gimbel promised a strong defense that is not, “judged by rallies and meetings of groups of people.”