A Fort Worth man jailed last month on a charge of injuring an elderly man now stands accused of killing one of Tarrant County’s most notorious accused child molesters inside the jail.
David Faustino Flores, 42, was arraigned Wednesday on a charge of murder in connection with Wednesday’s death of Clinton Don Simpson, 76, of Keller, according to Mike Simonds, Senior Chief of the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office..
The Texas Rangers are investigating.
Simpson was accused in 2007 of molesting more than a dozen children at “Mr. Don’s Whistle Stop,” a miniature train station and track that Simpson owned and operated in his backyard in Keller.
For years, he’d been in state hospitals because he had been been found incompetent to stand trial., but had been returned to the Tarrant County Jail in July.
“He was recently found competent and returned,” Sam Jordan, a spokeswoman for the Tarrant County district attorney’s office, said in an email Thursday.
Officials with the Texas Rangers say Simpson was physically assaulted at 2:20 a.m. Wednesday inside the Tarrant County Jail, 100 N. Larmar St. in downtown Fort Worth.
He was pronounced dead at 3:09 a.m. that same morning at John Peter Smith Hospital, according to the Tarrant County medical examiner’s website.
He died from blunt force injuries to his head and his death was a homicide, according to a ruling by the medical examiner’s office.
A spokesman for the Texas Rangers did not release further information about the incident, citing the ongoing investigation.
Flores had been booked into the Tarrant County Jail on Oct. 8 and subsequently charged with injury to the elderly, according to court records. He was accused in that case of striking an elderly man with his hand on Oct. 7.
Simpson was returned to the Tarrant County Jail on July 10 for independent evaluations and a competency hearing because his defense attorney asserted he was still incompetent.
Lisa Mullen of Fort Worth, Simpson’s criminal attorney, did not return messages seeking comment Thursday. Mullen had declined to comment to the Star-Telegram in May citing a gag order in the case that was in place.
A relative of Simpson who asked not to be identified said Thursday that the family had many questions and grave concerns but declined to comment further.
Frances Bobo of Bedford, who has known the family for more than 20 years, said Thursday she was shocked by the news of Simpson’s homicide.
“He was a wonderful family man who was very kind,” Bobo said in a Thursday telephone interview. “He so loved God and his family.”
Bobo said Simpson had been a “great preacher” and had been an instructor at Brown Trail Church of Christ in Bedford.
“This man would never had done what he was accused of,” Bobo said referring to the molestation charges.
Simpson was the owner of Mr. Don’s Whistle Stop which he operated at his Keller home in the 8700 block of Buckner Lane and hosted parties for school-age children for years. In a 2002 Star-Telegram article on Mr. Don’s, Simpson told a reporter that he began hand-building his miniature trains more than 30 years ago.
The park was closed in 2007 after officials discovered that he was operating it without a proper business permit.
Simpson surrendered to authorities in October 2007 just days after several parents called 911 and reported the possibility of “inappropriate touching” of pre-school-age girls, Keller police told the Star-Telegram in 2007.
More alleged victims would later surface.
In all, prosecutors filed 10 aggravated sexual assault of a child charges, three indecency/fondling charges, and one continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14 charge against Simpson, court records show.
Simonds said inmates accused of certain crimes, including offenses against children, “are housed separately for their own protection.” He declined to elaborate.
“There are many, many variables in regards to classifications,” Simonds said.
Court records show Flores had a relatively minor record in Tarrant County.
He previously received two years deferred adjudication probation for criminal trespassing in 2000, a six-day jail sentence for misdemeanor evading arrest in 2006, and a fine for theft under $50 in 2007.
Bond in the murder case was set at $50,000.
In addition, court officials on Wednesday held Flores’ bond on the unrelated injury to the elderly charge as insufficient because of his new alleged offense. He’s now being held without bond in that case.