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 firstname.lastname@example.org