Detra Rainey, 39, was the mother of 5 children- Christian Rainey, 21, William Rainey, 16, Hakiem Rainey, 13, Malachai Robinson, 8, and Samenia Robinson, 6. Detra worked at the local hospital, she was attending nursing school, and was undergoing her second round of chemotherapy for colon cancer. Her oldest child, Christian, was away attending college.
More than a year ago, Detra Rainey stood before witnesses and said her marraige vows with Michael Simmons, 41. Simmons was disabled and unemployed. Neighbors have reported the family as a nice family, the children played with several other children in the neighborhood. They attended vacation bible school and sang in the choir.
Sunday, police received a call from a witness who reported seeing bodies in the home. When they responded they found Michael Simmons driving away from the home.
Inside the home, police found the bodies of Detra Rainey, William Rainey, Hakiem Rainey, Malachai Robinson, and Samenia Robinson. Reportedly all had been shot with a hand gun. Allegedly the family was killed sometime between 3 am and 5:45 am they were thought to have been killed in their sleep.
Michael Simmons has been arrested and charged with 5 counts of murder, he is being held without bond. Police are saying a domestic dispute led to the murders. Reportedly when Simmons was taken into custody he told the deputies to “tell Mister Gene I apologize.” Gene Fanning is reportedly a brother-in-law who married into the family.
He sends a message to tell his brother-in-law he is sorry, but nothing for the sister of his wife, or her only remaining child.
Police say the family was killed as a result of a dispute, but the family was thought to be asleep when they were killed.
Many unanswered questions here, and in the days and weeks to come some answers may be found. But as always, why this family, why the kids, I don’t think I will ever understand.
Two weeks ago Detra Rainey and Michael Simmons were celebrating their anniversary together. The family did a lot of things together and were thought to be happy. It was Samenia Robinson’s birthday, she had just turned 7 years old.
A neighbor saw the families bodies through a window and called police. Simmons, who was captured while driving away from the mobile home park, had the gun in his possession when he was stopped.
Family, friends and neighbors are talking about the tragedly. They report the family was close. That her children were everything to Detra and the children took care of her mother after her illness.
To relatives the relationship between Detra and Michael Simmons appeared to be good. Simmons was not the children’s father but he appeared to love them and encouraged them in sports. No one appears to be aware of any fights in the household.
Reportedly on Sun. several neighbors have reported they saw him sitting on his porch, some have described him as appearing ‘fidgety’. Neighbors do not recall hearing an argument or gunshots on Sat. night/Sun. morning.
Simmons had the nickname “Chopper”. Reportedly he had a criminal history. In 1988 he was convicted of armed robbery, assault and battery with intent to kill, and burglary.
Christian Rainey says that when his mother was battling colon cancer he had promised her he would take care of his siblings if anything should happen to her. Now “Those were my kids, too,” “He just took my whole family away from me.”
Christian Rainey is a freshman at Southern University where he is majoring in computer science and with a minor in business. He has a 3.3 grade point average. Now he says he doesn’t know if he can continue to attend.
Christian Rainey says he never saw any serious problems with his stepfather, though he had some reservations about him and he felt that Simmons might have been jealous of their relationship. Others have confirmed that he was a jealous person, and that he seemed jealous of the kids.
More details on the murders. A woman had gone to the home looking for ciggarettes and when entered the front door, she saw the body of 6 year old Samenia Robinson lying on the couch with a gunshot wound. She turned around and left and called police.
When police arrived Simmons had left, police found him a few blocks away, getting into a vehicle driven by a man from the neighborhood. In a jacket found in the vehicle, which the vehicle owner said was not his, police found a gun. Police have not verified if this was the murder weapon. Police believe the family had been dead about 8 hours before they were discovered.
Simmons had been released from prison on the previous charges in August 2004. He was still on parole, and would have been so until about 2012.