Case Snapshot
Case ID: 378
Classification: Neglect / Abandonment
Animal: dog (pit-bull)
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Child or elder neglect
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Friday, Mar 15, 2002

County: Bergen

Charges: Felony CTA
Disposition: Convicted
Case Images: 1 files available

Defendant/Suspect: Earl Simmons

Case Updates: 1 update(s) available

Rapper DMX will lend his voice to public service announcements against animal abuse as part of his sentence for animal cruelty.

DMX, whose real name is Earl Simmons, will make the radio announcements for the Humane Society of the United States. He also will pay production costs estimated at $20,000 under the sentence imposed Friday by state Superior Court Judge Donald R. Venezia.

Venezia also put Simmons on probation for a year and ordered him to pay $13,000 in fines for the 13 counts of animal cruelty to which he pleaded guilty, and $2,000 in fines for a disorderly conduct count and a drug paraphernalia count.

The sentence upheld terms of a January plea bargain that allowed the 31-year-old Simmons to avoid prison.

Under the deal, prosecutors dropped weapons and child endangerment charges against his wife, Tashera Simmons. Those charges each carry a maximum prison term of up to 10 years. The couple had lived in Teaneck and now live in Mount Kisco, N.Y.

The couple was going to trial, but the case fell apart when a key prosecution witness - Tashera's mother, Marcia Tate - refused to cooperate.

The case started on June 28, 1999, when police went to the Simmons home in Teaneck after finding Tashera's purse near the spot where the rapper's business manager was shot in the Fort Lee Hilton. The business manager, who is also Earl Simmons' uncle, was wounded in the foot. The shooting remains unsolved.

At the house, Tate told detectives that Simmons had been smoking crack cocaine all week and had whipped out a pistol in front of her. Police found a loaded 9 mm pistol in a dresser, hollow-nosed bullets, a high-capacity magazine and six "used glass cocaine-smoking pipes" in a bedroom vanity. They also found 13 pit bulls.

The couple's son, who was 6 at the time, and a 15-year-old cousin also were in the house, prompting the child endangerment charges.

Under the plea deal, Simmons forfeited all weapons and animals. "We thought this was an appropriate plea based on all the facts and circumstances," said Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor Ike Gavzy.

Simmons also must give $15,000 to the Bergen County chapter of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which is to use the money for printed materials, Gavzy said. The Humane Society also may use his image on posters.


Case Updates

On 8/22/03, we learned that Simmon's aka DMX was in violation of his probation for failure to successfully complete the animal cruelty public service announcements. The 1 year probation would have ended a few weeks earlier but was now extended because of this violation.
Update posted on Dec 23, 2003 - 11:19AM 

References

« NJ State Animal Cruelty Map
« More cases in Bergen County, NJ

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