Yemassee murder suspect who fled to Walterboro sent to prison
by The Press and Standard | May 9, 2019 5:00 pm
Last Updated: May 8, 2019 at 12:10 pm
A Yemassee murder suspect, who had spent time hiding out in Colleton County, was sentenced to prison when he appeared in Hampton County General Sessions this week.
Donald R. Simmons, Jr., 27, of Yemassee pled guilty to a charge of voluntary manslaughter on May 6. After hearing Simmons’ guilty plea, 14th Circuit Court Judge Perry Buckner sentenced Simmons to 27 years in prison.
Simmons was charged with shooting to death wheelchair-bound Melissa Lynn Rauch, 44, in her home on Jan. 17, 2015.
Later that year, Simmons was released from the Hampton County Detention Center on a $60,000 bond.
While out on bond, Simmons cut off his ankle monitor and went into hiding. On May 26, 2017, U.S. Marshals and the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office deputies found Simmons at a Walterboro home and took him into custody.
Simmons was taken into custody without incident at a Crosby Street home. Officers reported he had a .32 caliber weapon in his possession that was reported stolen, but no charges were filed in connection with the alleged stolen handgun.
Shortly after Simmons was transported to the Colleton County Detention Center, deputies from the Hampton County Sheriff’s Office arrived to transport him back to Hampton County.