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Man charged with killing 3 at Michigan home

Man faces murder charges in shooting that killed 3, wounded 1 during small party at Mich. home By The Associated Press

FLINT, Mich. (AP) A man who authorities say fatally shot three people and wounded a fourth following an argument during a small party at a Michigan home was charged Thursday with murder and assault.

Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton announced the charges against James P. Simpkins, 20, of Detroit. He faces three counts of murder, one count of assault with intent to murder and one count of having a firearm in a felony.

A woman who was wounded in the shooting around 3:30 a.m. Wednesday managed to climb out of a window to flee the house in Flint and alert authorities.

"These individuals were all in the home," Leyton said at a news conference. "They had been drinking. They had been smoking marijuana. Essentially, they had been partying.

"One of the individuals began to harass, taunt, tease Mr. Simpkins by saying, 'You're crazy' or something like that, and Mr. Simpkins responded by opening fire on all of the victims."

Leyton said all of the people in the home knew each other. Authorities haven't released the names of the victims.

The slayings put the homicide total in the city of about 102,000 people some 60 miles northwest of Detroit at 38 for the year.

"This is yet another unspeakable tragedy to hit our community," Leyton said in a written statement.

The prosecutor's office said Simpkins has retained a lawyer, but it didn't know the lawyer's name. Online court records Thursday didn't show details of the case. There was no phone listing for Simpkins in Detroit.

The survivor, a 20-year-old woman from Detroit, was shot twice, hit and strangled until she passed out, the prosecutor's office said. She fled after regaining consciousness.

Simpkins was arrested near the home that day. According to prosecutors, he fled after the shooting and called police, reporting he'd just been assaulted and two people were killed.

The murder charges are open, meaning prosecutors can seek either first-degree or second-degree murder convictions. A first-degree murder conviction brings a mandatory term of life in prison without the possibility of parole. A conviction for second-degree murder brings up to life.

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