Self-defense theory expected in Gresham murder case

Kevin Dewayne Varnado, 27, was found dead on Aug. 8

Wallace Simpson was arrested and charged in a Gresham homicide case, August 11, 2015. (Gresham PD)
Wallace Simpson was arrested and charged in a Gresham homicide case, August 11, 2015. (Gresham PD)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) – A 29-year-old man faces a 7 count indictment, despite the fact that he testified before a grand jury, according to court records.

Wallace Theodore Simpson Jr. was indicted on Wednesday on one count each of murder with a firearm, unlawful use of a weapon with a firearm and being in possession of a firearm. He is also charged with two counts each of attempted aggravated murder with a firearm and first-degree assault with a firearm.

Simpson was one of 11 people who testified before the grand jury. His criminal defense attorney Russell S. Barnett III said Simpson wanted to present his self-defense case to the grand jury. Barnett said that while police were looking for a suspect in the Aug. 8 shooting, Simpson contacted him and together, they arraigned to meet with detectives.

Kevin Dewayne Varnado, 27, was found dead shortly before 6 p.m. on Aug. 8 at an apartment complex in the 1700 block of Northeast 162nd. Officers responded to the area after reports came in of multiple shots fired.

Police said Varnado died of a gunshot wound.

Malcom Xavier Jesse, 21, and Collett Renee Harris, 29, were also hurt in the shooting, police said. Detectives have not released information of their involvement in the shooting.

Wallace appeared in court on Thursday and entered a not guilty plea.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Gresham Police tip line at 503.618.2719.

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