Bowie State student held without bond in death of roommate

September 19, 2011

Alexis Simpson, the 19-year-old Bowie State University student charged with fatally stabbing her roommate last week, was trying to defend herself, her attorney said Monday in court.

“There were individuals who wanted to do her wrong, or watched while wrong was done to her,” defense attorney Michael Worthy said during a bond hearing in Prince George’s County District Court. He did not elaborate.

At another point in the brief hearing, Worthy said the stabbing of Dominique Frazier, 18, was “a tragic accident.”

Simpson is charged with first-degree murder, second-degree murder and assault. She was ordered held without bond. District Court Judge Patrick Duley scheduled a preliminary hearing for Oct. 14.

The Thursday night incident in an apartment-style campus dormitory began as a fight over music and escalated, according to court papers. The two women yelled, then physically fought. After Simpson was pushed into her bedroom by someone else in the suite, she emerged with what appeared to be a knife and stabbed Frazier in the neck, the court papers say.

Assistant State’s Attorney Christine Murphy said in court that the stabbing “was no tragic accident.”

“This is her making a choice — a choice to end someone else’s life,” Murphy said.

Murphy said Simpson could have walked away but instead came out of the bedroom carrying a sharp weapon. “This is a defendant who got mad and reacted,” the prosecutor said.

Simpson, who is being held in the Prince George’s jail in Upper Marlboro, appeared via closed-circuit television. Dressed in an orange jumpsuit, she said virtually nothing during the hearing. At times, she wept and dabbed her eyes with what appeared to be a white handkerchief.

The courtroom was filled with about three dozen Simpson relatives, friends, and schoolmates. It was unclear whether any of Frazier’s family or friends attended the hearing.

Frazier and Simpson, both in their second year of college, had known each other for only a few weeks. Simpson had transferred from Clark Atlanta University and was randomly assigned to the suite, school officials said.

Witnesses told police that there were tensions between the women and that they had argued in the days before the stabbing, court papers said.

About 8 p.m. Thursday, the women were getting ready for a homecoming week comedy show when Simpson abruptly turned off an iPod that was playing in the suite, court papers said. The others asked her to turn it back on, but she refused.

After the stabbing, Frazier staggered into the hallway and collapsed, court paper said.

“I didn’t mean to do it,” Simpson said before leaving the suite, according to court papers. “You all don’t know what I’ve been through. You all jumped me.”

Called for help

Worthy said Simpson tried to render aid to Frazier after the stabbing and called 911.

“This is an isolated aberration,” Worthy said. “She is not the type of person who would hurt anyone.”

Frazier, who grew up in the District and graduated from Friendship Collegiate Academy, a D.C. public charter school, would have celebrated her 19th birthday Sunday.

On Sunday evening, more than 100 people gathered in a parking lot across the street from her mother’s home for a candlelight memorial. Her mother, Denise Frazier, released balloons.

Staff writer Erica W. Morrison contributed to this report.

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