- On Sunday the Graham County Sheriff’s Office released a statement regarding the death of 28-year-old Jorden Marie Simms
- Simms allegedly slipped out of her restraints and threw herself out of a vehicle during a police transport
- Days before her death Simms accused Safford Police Officer Jeremiah French of rape and a female detention officer of sodomy
- There are several discrepancies when comparing Graham County Sheriff P.J. Allred’s comments on the death and the Sunday’s statement from GCSO
Following an extremely questionable incident, the Graham County Sheriff’s Office released a statement in response to the death of 28-year-old Jorden Marie Simms.
The Death Of Jorden Marie Simms
Simms was taken into custody on December 21 by Safford police for shoplifting. Officers discovered Simms had an outstanding warrant related to drugs and theft in Yavapai County. Simms was booked into Graham County Jail with a $25,000 bond.
On December 23, Simms accused her arresting officer, Jeremiah French, of rape. Simms would later accuse a female corrections officer of sodomy with an unknown object during a strip search during her intake as well.
On December 26, officials initially claimed Simms managed to get her wrists out of her handcuffs then opened the door to the Tahoe she was in and threw herself out of the vehicle during a transport by GCSO. Simms would be declared brain dead on Friday, and early Saturday morning her mother, Deborah Sanchez, would confirm her death in a Facebook post.
Statement From Graham County Sheriff’s Office
On Dec. 21, 2019, Jorden Marie Simms (age 28) was arrested by a Safford Police Officer and was booked into the Graham County Adult Detention Facility for a felony warrant from Yavapai County.
On Dec. 23, 2019, Jorden Simms was transported from the Graham County Adult Detention Facility by Safford Police Department personnel for a specialized exam due to an allegation made by her against a Safford officer.
On Dec. 24, 2019, at approximately 4 a.m., Jorden Simms was returned to the Graham County Adult Detention Facility. That same day, at approximately 7:57 p.m., an initial report was taken by a Graham County Deputy where Jorden Simms alleged she had been sexually assaulted by a Graham County Detention Officer while being dressed out when being brought back to the facility at 4 a.m.
On Dec. 26, 2019, it was arranged to have Jorden Simms transported to an Advocacy Center located in Sierra Vista for a specialized examination. The transport was done by a deputy and detention sergeant, from the Graham County Sheriff’s Office.
On Dec. 26, 2019, the initial exam was completed and based on a recommendation by a medical professional at the center, that would require utilizing equipment not available at the Advocacy Center, arrangements were made to take Jorden Simms to Mt. Graham Regional Hospital before returning to the Graham County Adult Detention Facility.
Contributed Photo/Courtesy Deborah Sanchez: Jorden Marie Simms, 28, was declared brain dead early Friday morning and was later removed from life support and donated her organs.
As the patrol vehicle, a Ford Explorer, was north on 20th Avenue, at the South 1900 block, approaching Mt. Graham Regional Hospital, Jorden Simms opened the door (rear driver’s side) and exited the vehicle. The deputy involved in the transport radioed for assistance and law enforcement from Safford, Pima, Thatcher and medical personnel responded to the scene.
Jorden Simms was transported to the Mt. Graham Regional Hospital with life-threatening injuries to include a severe head injury. She was later flown to Banner – University Medical Center Tucson. Jorden Simms was later pronounced deceased at Banner University – Medical Center Tucson.
The investigation to this point has shown the following:
Jorden Simms had removed her handcuffs, belly chain and ankle restraints before opening the door. It was learned staff had loosened the ankle restraints due to Jorden Simms complaining they were rubbing her ankles causing pain. A small tube of shower gel with the cap open was found in the back seat where Jorden Simms had been seated. The shower gel has been confirmed as the same type used by the Advocacy Center where she was examined and this same type of shower gel is kept in the bathroom Jorden Simms used prior to being brought back to Graham County. The handcuffs and chain were located on the seat in the patrol vehicle and the ankle restraints on the floorboard when the patrol vehicle was photographed. Her jail-issued shoes were also on the floorboard along with the found shower gel tube. It was also discovered the childproof locks used to prevent the rear doors from being open from the inside was switched to the off position on the side she had been placed on (both when taken to Sierra Vista and returning to Graham County, the driver’s side rear.) The passenger side child lock was found to be in the on position. Jorden Simms had been seated in the rear caged area alone and law enforcement personnel were seated in the front of the vehicle, driver and passenger front seat.
The initial investigation at the 20th Avenue location was conducted by the Arizona Department of Public Safety, assisted by the Graham County Sheriff’s Office. The continuing investigation into the events involving Jorden Simms will be conducted by the Arizona Department of Public Safety Investigation Division out of Phoenix.
Graham County Sheriff’s Office Via Gila Herald
Note: Many of the recent social media posts and claims being circulated are unfounded, as is often the case when opinions, claims and random posts are made before an investigation is completed or is on-going. These events were and will continue to be investigated.
Several Discrepancies In The GCSO Narrative
There have been some pretty serious discrepancies in statements from GCSO and Graham County Sheriff P.J. Allred. Allred initially stated Simms was able to open the door of a Tahoe being used for transport because it was older and not capable of locking criminals in. In Sunday’s statement, GCSO now claims Simms was in a Ford Explorer that just happened to have the child lock disabled on only her door. The other backdoor’s child lock was said to be engaged.
Many questioned how Simms managed to slip out of her handcuffs with at least one officer in the vehicle with her. From the GCSO statement not only do we know two officers were sitting in the front of the vehicle, we also know she did not just slip out of handcuffs. The GCSO statement alleges Simms not only slipped out of her handcuffs but that she also removed her ankle restraints.
Simms’ handcuffs and chain were said to be found on the seat with her ankle restraints and jail-issued shoes found on the floorboard. The statement claims an officer loosened her ankle restraints after she was complaining of them rubbing her and causing pain. It is suggested that Simms used a “small tube of shower gel” from the Advocacy Center to get out of her restraints. The open tube was allegedly found in the backseat where Simms was sitting.
Allred also stated Simms was being transported to the Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center after she was complaining of abdominal pains. The GCSO statement claims Simms’ initial exam for the sodomy accusation was completed at the Advocacy Center. At the center, a medical professional recommended they go to Mt Graham Regional Hospital to utilize equipment not available at the Advocacy Center.
These discrepancies in a situation already highly scrutinized do not help the public’s lack of trust in the police narrative regarding Simms’ death. The difference in Allred’s prior statements and the GCSO statement are not minor details. The Arizona Department of Public Safety is investigating Simms’ death.