Plea deal in Gresham homicide case leads to confrontation outsid - KPTV - FOX 12

Plea deal in Gresham homicide case leads to confrontation outside courthouse

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Wallace Simpson in court Wednesday pleading guilty to manslaughter for a deadly shooting in Gresham last August. Wallace Simpson in court Wednesday pleading guilty to manslaughter for a deadly shooting in Gresham last August.
Family members of the victims and the suspect were involved in a confrontation outside the courthouse Wednesday. Police stepped in to break it up. Family members of the victims and the suspect were involved in a confrontation outside the courthouse Wednesday. Police stepped in to break it up.
GRESHAM, OR (KPTV) -

A man originally charged with murder for a shooting in Gresham last summer reached a plea agreement on the lesser charge of manslaughter, but the deal didn't sit well with family members of the shooter or the victims.

Wallace Simpson, 30, turned himself in to police in August 2015 after a shooting at an apartment complex at Northeast 162nd and Halsey Street.

Kevin Varnado, 27, of Portland, was pronounced dead at the scene. His brother and a woman were also shot and survived their injuries.

As part of a plea deal, Simpson pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges of first-degree manslaughter, attempted murder, assault, unlawful use of a weapon and felon in possession of a firearm. He was originally indicted on the charge of murder.

He faces 12 years behind bars.

"My personal opinion is 12 years is not enough, there was not just one shooting, one person, there was three people," said the victim's sister Ayshia West. "This being a toll on the family and having to know that my brother Malcom, he's not the same. When you die and come back, you are not the same person."

Family members also testified in court about Varnado being a good father to his children, including a son who will never know his dad.

However, Simpson's grandmother told FOX 12 after the hearing that her grandson is innocent and acted in self-defense.

"I think it's a bunch of mess, because it was at my house, he was with me, they followed us to my house," Simpson's grandmother said. "The only thing that Wallace is guilty of is having a gun because he was a felon."

Minutes later, tensions between the two families erupted outside the courthouse with family members for both sides yelling at each other. Police stepped in to break up the confrontation. 

Simpson is scheduled to be sentenced April 13.

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