Daughter testifies about stabbing death of mother

Feb. 21, 2013 @ 06:42 PM

Testimony in the trial of Lamate Anderson for the 2010 murder of Yolanda Simons began in Union County Superior Court Thursday.

Monroe Police officers testified they found Simon's body a few feet inside the doorway of her home on Cripple Creek Court on the evening of Feb. 28, 2010. Her daughter, Trinity, witnessed her mother being stabbed by a man with dreadlocks and a dragon tattoo. Officers arrested Anderson when he stepped out the back door of his house, just across the street from Simon's home. His appearance matched that given by Trinity. After getting a search warrant, police found evidence inside Anderson's room to link him to the crime scene.

Trinity, now 9 years old, took the stand early. She described playing in her room that evening when she heard her mother scream. When she entered the living room, she saw Simon on the ground bleeding from the neck.

"She was just laying there and not breathing," the girl said.

Realizing she was alone, Trinity called her father and grandmother. Her cousin, Olivia Simon, who lived with the family came home to find Simon's body in a pool of blood.

"I walked in and she was lying on the floor," Olivia said, crying. "It looked like she had bled out a lot. And that's it."

Prosecutors played Olivia Simon's frantic 911 call. Olivia blurted out her address and begged for help. The emergency communications operator asked to stay calm and describe what happened. But Olivia is heard sobbing and calling out to Jesus for help. Trinity's high-pitched cries are heard in the recording's background.

Earlier, Olivia described how she met and began dating Lamate Anderson when she moved in with her cousin Yolanda in 2009. The two went on a few dates, but she ended the relationship after about three months. He lived a few houses over, so they saw each other regularly and kept in touch through text messages and phone calls.

Prosecutor John Phillips asked her if Anderson described hearing voices.

"Nothing outrageous" Olivia said. "He seemed very mellow during that time."

Olivia continued attending Revival Temple in Indian Trail where the defendant's mother, Ozella Anderson, served as pastor. Defense attorney Richard Culler asked Olivia if members of the church spoke in tongues or discussed demonic possession. She said the congregation did "speak in tongues", but did not know if the church members believed in possession.

The trial resumes Friday morning in the Union County Courthouse at 9:30 a.m.