Inmate details 4 prison killings: ‘I did it for nothing’

From left to right: Jason Kelley, John King, Jimmy Ham, William Scruggs (South Carolina Department of Corrections)

COLUMBIA, SC (AP) — A South Carolina inmate says he and another convicted murderer strangled four fellow prisoners in a bid to get the death penalty.

Denver Simmons told The Associated Press in a series of telephone calls that he and Jacob Philip plotted the April 7 killings at Kirkland Correctional Institution for months. Both men were sentenced to life without parole for double murderers.

Simmons told the AP they chose inmates who were weak or trusted them, and lured them one by one into Simmons’ cell. The victims were John King, William Scruggs, Jimmy Ham, and Jason Kelley.

Simmons said he now realizes he’s unlikely to get the death penalty.