Local 12 has learned that Bengals free agent Jerome Simpson has signed a one year deal with the Minnesota Vikings. The news came on the same day in which Simpson received a three game suspension from the National Football League for substance abuse.
Simpson served a 15 day sentence in the Kenton County jail earlier this month, after he pled guilty to a drug charge. Last September, a package containing two and a half pounds of marijuana was delivered to his home.
On the day of his sentencing, more than half a dozen Bengals crowded the courtroom. They offered him their moral support while a parade of witnesses offered Judge Bartlett reasons Simpson should avoid jail. "Jerome is not a criminal."
"I would be proud to have him for a son."
They told stories of the polite man who serves soup to the homeless. The man who's sent 89 backpacks to his hometown school. Marvin Lewis wrote a letter and Simpson's agent choked up when sharing that Simpson helped him through the grief of losing a baby girl. "He really cares and puts his heart out there for people."
Then finally, Simpson took the stand. "First I want to apologize to my family, the community. I take full responsibility for my actions. If I could ask for your favor, for a second chance, I truly believe I would take full advantage of this opportunity."
The judge told the court he's convinced Jerome Simpson is not a bad man-just someone who made a very big lapse in judgement. He steered away from the prosecutions recommendation of 60 days in jail and gave him 15 days behind bars. Simpson was also sentenced to three years probation, 200 hours community service with a 50 hour credit for time already served and a $7500 fine.
Rob Sanders says the sentence is consistent with similar cases and he's satisfied. "Really there's probably some friends out there that owe Mr. Simpson big time because he's taking the fall for criminal conduct that they're equally responsible for."