Judge: Simants Still a Danger Due to mental Illness

Posted 6 months ago

By Robert Lovell

Judge Donald Rowlands

Judge Donald Rowlands

Lincoln County District Court Judge Donald Rowlands announced his ruling on the release of Erwin Simants Tuesday afternoon.

According to court documents Rowlands said, “Based upon my consideration of the evidence from October 18, 1975 through and including September 24, 2013, there is clear and convincing evidence that Erwin Charles Simants is and continues to be mentally ill and dangerous to others by reason of mental illness, and that he will continue to be dangerous in the foreseeable future as demonstrated by the overt acts of October 18, 1975.”

Rowlands went on to say that Simants did not produce any evidence that he was dissatisfied with the conditions of his confinement. Therefore Simants will remain at the Lincoln Regional Center where he has been held.

Simants was found guilty of killing six members of the Henry Kellie family in 1975 outside Sutherland. The decision was overturned on appeal. Simants later was found not guilty by reason of insanity and sent to the Lincoln Regional Center.

Simants’ next evidentiary hearing will be September 30, 2014 in Lincoln County District Court, as required by Nebraska law.


  • Just Me

    Good to hear…

    Current score: 11
  • ShakingMyHead

    Bravo!!! Good decision Judge Rowlands.

    Current score: 20
  • My Oh My

    Happy with the decision. Judges don’ always get it right but Rowland’s did today!

    Current score: 18
  • lone1

    My question is, if the judge says this man is rehabilitated and frees him, how many of you would be comfortable? After all, he would have paid what the state considers his debt to society. I understand he killed those people, but, if he was/is sick and was cured/rehabilitated, is fair, fair?

    Current score: 2
  • Keepitreal

    If someone gets out of a jail sentence because They’re deemed “mentally ill”, its my belief that they should then face the original punishment for the crime thy committed. If they are no longer mentally ill, they deserve to do the time as anyone else would have had to.

    Current score: 21
  • O wow

    Good call Judge!! Sorry Charlie you should of fried!!!!!

    Current score: 9
  • Colonel Angus

    Why cant he ‘accidentally’ pass away and do Lincoln Co a favor ?

    Current score: 8
  • Gracious

    Thank you for realizing that mental illness isn’t ‘cured’, just like cancer isn’t ‘cured’, it may simply not be present at the moment but it can come back. No, I am not a doctor, I have had ’bouts’ of severe depression with 13 years in between two really debilitating episodes. And if you saw me on the street you would never ever think that anything could possibly ever be wrong with me or cause me to have depression. Mental Illness does not have a face and it does not discriminate. And who knows, the fact that Simants took out a whole row of my little church when I was barely 11 years old…maybe THAT helped contribute to my adult depression. I hope he stays behind bars until his time on earth is finished.

    Current score: 3
  • Jules Winnfield

    If he ever shows up at my door, I’ll assume he’s there to harm my family. I’d have to act appropriately.

    Current score: 5