ACCUSATIONS FLY AT SIMS TRIAL

Suspect1

The trial of alleged Montgomery Terrace shooter Anthony Sims got underway in Freehold last week, and going by the coverage in the Asbury Park Press, it sounds like a trashfest:

Who dissed whose mother.  Whose mother is a crackhead. Who boasted membership in a gang that he may not have had.

Sims, 21, of Eatontown, is accused of shooting brothers Anthony and Brandon Graves, and firing at but missing a third man, in a dispute at the Montgomery Terrace public housing complex on Red Bank’s West Side shortly before midnight on November 26, 2007. Sims’ girlfriend lived in the complex.

The shooting left Brandon Graves paralyzed from the chest down. It also triggered a manhunt for Sims that didn’t end until his arrest in Highlands almost two months later. He’s on trial on three attempted-murder counts and related weapons charges, which he denies.

Today’s Press coverage includes this summary:

Last week, the brothers testified that the dispute started over some advice Sims’ mother gave to Anthony Graves about his pregnant girlfriend. But Sims’ defense attorney, Robert J. Konzelmann, has maintained it resulted from Anthony Graves “disrespecting” Sims’ mother.

It also includes this, regarding the cross-examination by Sims’ defense attorney, Robert J. Konzelmann, of 28-year-old Anthony Graves, who was shot in the hand and throat:

Later, Graves characterized Sims’ mother, Rhoda Palmer, as a “crackhead.”

Konzelmann then pressed him about selling drugs to Palmer.

“I don’t sell crack,” Graves answered. “I didn’t sell crack to her.”

Konzelmann asked if Palmer had ever performed sexual acts for him in exchange for crack cocaine.

Graves shook his head as he answered “Why would I do that?” before adding that Palmer was “like an auntie to me.”

Some of yesterday’s testimony centered on whether Sims and Brandon Graves had each boasted membership in the Bloods gang, and if so, whether they meant it or were just “talking jazz,” as Graves’ brother claimed.

Prior to the start of the trial, authorities had not disclosed the names of the shooting victims and Sims’ alleged third target, Steven Rosado, 18, of Lakewood.

On Rosado’s testimony, the Press reports that Rosado testified that Sims referred to being a member of the Bloods just before the shooting”

“West up or vest up” — a reference to membership in a Westside Bloods set — Rosado testified Sims said just before pulling the trigger wounding the Graves brothers and taking at least one shot a Rosado as he fled the scene amid the gunfire.