Union County Murder Trial Begins

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LEWISBURG -- More than four years after he was arrested for allegedly shooting and killing his fiancée in Lewisburg, Roderick Sims is on trial in Union County.

Sims is on trial for the murder of Charity Spickler. During the prosecution's opening statement, District Attorney Pete Johnson told the jury that Sims shot and killed Spickler execution-style, after finding her in bed with another man while they were separated. The defense agreed that Sims shot and killed Spickler, but Defense Attorney John McLaughlin says Sims was not in the right mental state at the time. McLaughlin called Sims, "A proud black man who has a bit of a temper."

That temper is why Judge Michael Sholley ordered Sims to wear an electronic shocking device on his leg during the trial. The Sheriff's Department has control over the device, and can give Sims a shock if he gets out of line. Sims has been known to speak out during his court appearances, and Sholley said he wants to make sure this doesn't happen. Sholley already reprimanded Roderick Sims at the end of opening statements. He told him, "You are getting loud. The jury could hear you. You are disruptive and I will not tolerate this."

Family members for both Charity Spickler and Roderick Sims were in court. Several witnesses testified for the prosecution. The first was a program director for a crime victim services center who helped Spickler file a protection from abuse order against Sims.

Roderick Sims is charged with second and third degree murder, as well as burglary and making terroristic threats. His trial is expected to last through next week.

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