Guilty plea in death of Port Richmond cop

Wil­li­am Foster, charged in the ac­ci­dent that took the life of Sgt. Timothy Simpson, was sen­tenced to 19 to 40 years in pris­on.

Wil­li­am Foster, the man charged in the ac­ci­dent that took the life of Sgt. Timothy Simpson of the city’s 24th Po­lice Dis­trict, has pleaded guilty to third-de­gree murder.

Dur­ing a hear­ing Monday morn­ing, Com­mon Pleas Court Judge Jef­fery Mine­hart sen­tenced Foster to 19 to 40 years in pris­on.

Simpson, 46, died on the same day he had been honored as su­per­visor of the month.

On the even­ing of Nov. 17, 2008, Simpson, a 20-year vet­er­an of the force, was re­spond­ing to a call about a rob­bery at a pizza shop when his patrol car was struck by a speed­ing Chevy Ca­maro that ran a traffic light at the in­ter­sec­tion of Ara­mingo and Al­legheny av­en­ues in Port Rich­mond.

Be­hind the wheel of the Ca­maro sat Foster, of Levit­town, who had just scored heroin earli­er that even­ing. He was at­tempt­ing to evade a pur­su­ing of­ficer when he ran the light, slam­ming broad­side in­to Simpson’s vehicle and for­cing the patrol car up onto the curb and in­to the front of a build­ing on the corner.

Foster, 41 at the time, suffered a head wound in the crash. He was on pro­ba­tion in con­nec­tion with a theft. Foster has a crim­in­al his­tory that stretches back to 1986.

Simpson also had ties to fallen Sgt. Steph­en Liczb­in­ski of the 26th Dis­trict, who was killed earli­er that year while ap­pre­hend­ing bank rob­bery sus­pects in Port Rich­mond.

The two were long­time friends. Simpson sym­bol­ic­ally placed Liczb­in­ski’s hand­cuffs on the wrists of Eric De­Shawn Floyd, one of the sus­pects ar­res­ted for their in­volve­ment in Liczb­in­ski’s shoot­ing death. ••

Re­port­er Hay­den Mit­man can be reached at 215-354-3124 or hmit­

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