OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A Nebraska man has been found guilty of helping kidnap a South Dakota woman who was later killed on the Santee Sioux Indian Reservation in Nebraska.
Federal prosecutors said Ramon Simpson, 50, of Norfolk, Nebraska, was convicted Wednesday for his role in the Nov. 5, 2018 kidnapping of Phyllis Hunhoff. Because the kidnapping resulted in Hunhoff's death, Simpson is facing a mandatory life sentence.
Prosecutors said Simpson and Joseph James, of Norfolk, abducted Hunhoff as she left her mother's home in Utica, South Dakota, for her home in Yankton, South Dakota. Simpson and James entered Hunhoff's car before she could drive away, and they took her to Norfolk.
The U.S. Attorney's office said after he exited the car in Norfolk, Simpson tried to delete location information from James' cell phone that showed where they had been that day.
James then drove Hunhoff to the reservation where he stabbed and strangled the 59-year-old woman before setting fire to her body and her vehicle.
James pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced last year to life in prison.
“Ramon Simpson may not have killed Phylliss Hunhoff, but his participation in her abduction and kidnapping ultimately lead to her violent and senseless death,” said Eugene Kowel, who is the FBI special agent in charge of the Omaha office..