House-scalping: Teen sentenced in notorious, puzzling incident

news-scalphousechase-iAcross from Bayly Drive on Rugby Road, a motorist veers away from the pursuit of Simpson. [Click here for video]

The Charlottesville High School student-athlete arrested last fall for a death-defying, house-scalping car crash has been given time behind bars to flex his remorse muscles after a judge–- expressing shock that the teen did his most dangerous deed just two months after a conviction for a similar crime–- ordered Tsaye Simpson to remain inside the juvenile justice system for three and a half years.

"It doesn't look like being found guilty has any effect on him," said an irked Judge Paul Peatross, ordering Simpson to remain locked up until his 21st birthday. If Simpson errs again, Peatross said, the court could impose the suspended portion of the sentence: 22 years in Virginia's adult penal system.

The case follows an incident last August when then 17-year-old Simpson burgled a house in the Johnson Village neighborhood while the owners slept,  stole their car, and then led police on an 85 mile-per-hour chase along Rugby Road that ended in a spectacular–- and puzzling–- crash. He was convicted of grand larcency, breaking and entering, eluding arrest, and leaving the scene of an accident.

Appearing Wednesday, June 9 inside Charlottesville Circuit Court, the now 18-year-old Simpson–- described as a standout player for CHS basketball and football teams–- shuffled in wearing handcuffs, shackles, and the distinctive gray and black uniform of the Albemarle Charlottesville Regional Jail. Staring impassively around the room, the lean teen with close-cropped hair and beard was repeatedly asked by the judge as well as his own lawyer if he would make a statement to demonstrate his regret. He declined.

"He said all he has to say," said Alyssa Oakes, after the hearing. "He already wrote an apology letter."

Oakes, who described herself as Simpson's girlfriend–- though noting that her parents have prevented her from visiting her incarcerated former schoolmate–- asserts Simpson's innocence.

"They only have one person who said he did it," says Oakes, noting that investigators did not recover any fingerprints, blood, or other physical evidence linking Simpson to the Ford Five Hundred sedan found crumpled and upside down in a backyard near the intersection of Rugby and Barracks Roads.

Surrounded by four other female CHS students and self-avowed Simpson fans, Oakes asserted that Simpson pleaded merely to avoid stiffer punishment from a system "trying to set him up." However, Simpson's own attorney made no such protests. After all, just two months before the burglary and house-scalping of August 7, Simpson already had garnered two juvenile convictions–- but was free while awaiting sentencing–- for similar crimes.

"It is unfathomable," defense attorney Christopher Graham told the judge, "what caused him to do these acts–- breaking into people's homes and taking their cars for what were essentially joy rides."

Prosecutor Elizabeth Killeen took a particularly dim view of Simpson's target on that fateful night: the Highland Avenue home of Nancy and Jack Horn Sr., the latter the founder of Martin Horn, one of the area's largest construction companies and–- in what Killeen sarcastically called a "remarkable coincidence"–- the firm that had terminated Simpson's father's employment a year earlier.

For his part, Horn, though noting that he hasn't yet received any apology, contends that it really may have been a coincidence. But house choice may been the least of Simpson's mistakes. According to Killeen, there were several whoppers:

- a come-pick-me-up call he placed moments after the crash to a friend via Horn's cell phone,
- a don't-snitch-on-me text message, again via Horn's phone, sent to the friend moments after a police debriefing, and
- an incriminating phone call (which the friend put on speaker) when police returned to re-interrogate the friend.

Father Earl Simpson, who also has a daughter, testified to maintaining close relationships with his children, who lost their mother at a young age, "to keep them away from corruption."

Killeen seemed sympathetic to the family's plight, and in agreeing not to seek adult prison time, she noted that only two or three juveniles during her 11-year career deserved such punishment. (One was a child rapist; another slit a woman's throat while informing her she'd been cut by a "real killer.")

However, Killeen bristled at the way the dad had claimed that his son was falsely accused in the earlier burglaries and how the younger Simpson maintained "stone-cold innocence" until eventually pleading guilty.

The younger Simpson was a "good student and a smart young man," said an official who helped Simpson write apology letters to some of his victims.

"He was exemplary in his thoughtfulness and cooperation," testified the official, David Saunier, coordinator of the Central Virginia Restorative Justice Program. "I believe that he was genuinely sincere."

Saunier wasn't the only powerful force smiling on Simpson. If the latest guilty plea was genuine, Simpson somehow piloted a stolen sedan 85mph–- slower than the cruising speed of some small planes–- through a garage, a house, a tree, and then remained uninjured as the vehicle came to rest on its roof about 100 yards from and nearly 50 feet below the sidewalk where take-off occurred. (A neighbor expressed surprise that the wreckage revealed no corpse when finally flipped upright by a tow truck.)

The incident caused over $100,000 in damage to the home of a couple, who were displaced to a hotel and then to an apartment for the nearly four-month course of repairs, and the City of Charlottesville had to rebuild the intersection with a new guardrail and traffic signal to replace infrastructure shorn away by the flying Ford.

Yet police found neither cuts nor bruises while interviewing Simpson within 48 hours of the crash, according to his lawyer. The case remained officially unsolved until mid-October, when Simpson was arrested, putting an end to his senior year at CHS and delaying his plan to enter Piedmont Virginia Community College.

As part of the sentence, Simpson must remain on good behavior for 25 years, avoid his burglary victims, and pay up to a quarter of his post-release income toward the nearly $16,000 that State Farm insurance spent for the totaled car.

"Obviously, you've got great potential," said Judge Peatross. "I hope you take advantage of this opportunity to get some help and right your life."


I's really sad to think this is what you get when you spend $16,000 a year to educate kids.

"Why are yall seriously running yall mouths yall dnt no me alyssa simpson or da rest of his so called fans"

I am soooooo very happy that I dnt no ne of dem!

Are we sure this guy's actually only 18? I say cut him open and count the rings, dude looks two weeks shy of 35.

I blame the fans. You girls feel fine because you're not locked up, so what you are doing is gloating over this poor guy's misfortune. He has THROW AWAY his youth and it is a tragedy. The judge has put him in a spot where he may very well go to prison FOR A LONG TIME after he is 21. You fans are selfish. Nothing has happened to you. It's him who HAS THROWN IT ALL AWAY. Don't you get that, even just an inkling of it?

simpson "fan" - read above...disrepect would be me not even acknowleging his existance...I cared that he screwed his life up and said so. Read June 11th post as well.

Ha I realize that. Just being facetious.

At least GH's friends didn't come on here and defend him. "You don't know him..." "you don't know the full story so shut up", etc

I think he was too nervous to talk in court. I'm serious.

"Staring impassively around the room, the lean teen with close-cropped hair and beard was repeatedly asked by the judge as well as his own lawyer if he would make a statement to demonstrate his regret."

CC, Since the education system obviously failed, can we get a refund? LOL!

The younger Simpson was a ââ?¬Å?good student and a smart young man,” said an official who helped Simpson write apology letters to some of his victims.


Sparky, just jibberish, that's all....

wow, way to show him judge! I hope you didn't hurt yourself shaking your finger at the criminal and saying "now don't do this again". wouldn't want you to do to much work. What a disgrace...this guy is a grade A world class screw up and should be treated as such. 3 years in juvi...what a joke.

Hey! pimpin' aint easy!

He's not as dangerous as some people, like a 44 year-old, married, Caucasian, female, Harvard-trained PhD bio-chemist with a shotgun!

Maybe you should choose your friends more carefully....

@Free Simpson:

why you are tripping*

Hope this helps. Stay in school.

I have no idea what 95% of the above means.
Somebody want to translate and provide a synopsis?

Let me get this straight, this piece of trash broke into someone's house, stole someone's car, and hit someone's house and we need to show him respect. This low class trash with a "the man set me up" story doesnt deserve any respect for his criminal actions. Anyone who think otherwise just enables this behavior. I wouldnt be suprised if you glorify the whole "you owe me because I'm (insert whatever race you like)", "I wasnt taught any better", "I want nice things but dont want to earn it." F'n wannabe ghetto trash.

Then the reporter gave us the real story.

Wow since when did it go from being about simpson to talking about someones education?

"I's really sad to think this is what you get when you spend $16,000 a year to educate kids."

Just because she types a certain way doesn't mean she's uneducated. I think if anyones uneducated it would be everyone that's talking sh*t about people they don't even know, underage girls at that. I bet YALL are in YALLS 30s at home with kids & you have nothing better to do? *tsk tsk* what a shame.

simpson "fan" - not judging at all...he's already had that and been found guilty, however, if you don't want to hear others comments, don't log into the "Hook". DUH!

Geeze...30 is old?

Maybe if VA would have had a voucher system and Simpson's parents had sent him to a private school....would it have made a difference? Food for thought....remember GH.

No voucher could pay for Landon prep

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@ JJ Malloy "yeah right" whatever!
@ nbc29fan "That guy has a 1970's Afro. . ." well he was in juvy, you don't get weekly haircuts in there and if you do you have to pay
@whoajustasecond lol! i know that's right!

ANYWAYS FREE TSAYE !! HENDRICKS IS A SNITCH !!! And yes this is one of the 5 female CHS students who was there and knows about the case! =)

Hatersss! hahahahaaaaa

I love how you guys blame us though considering we are the "fans" even though you know nothing. Don't try & act like you "care" so much about him. If you did where were you when his court date came around??

Um excuse me how exactly are we "gloating"? Were his friends we back him up 100% obviously you don't get that. How are we selfish were not getting anything out of him being locked up we would rather him be out instead of being locked up of course. You obviously have NO IDEA what you're talking about but thanks for caring haha..=)

Cleopatra will you read my future? Please since you know his I wanna know mine =) haha

Alyssa, glad you are in his corner! However, it obvious from his past actions, he WILL be getting that 20 later on for his next offense. Can't keep a good guy down (he'll just go out and do it again when he gets out) and the "hater" card won't play then either. Hang it up 'bout those drivin lessons..anyone can't miss a house is in sad shape! Sounds like he had a great future ahead of him and one night of "playin'" nuked his chances forever...feeling some deep empathy for him, not hatein' at all. He sounded like he could have been heading for the pros....

colfer, nope they don't get it....too young to know yet. Feeling for them when they do figure it out though. Look back and see their friend and how he threw it all away.

@Whateva! ok well in my opinion I do think you all are hating. My reason behind this is because like I said you all do not know him. So im just saying that if you don't know the guy why sit around and waste your weekend time talking about him? I think that's pretty dumb. I mean how would you like it if he was someone that you knew and people were talking all this stuff about him when they don't know him? you would be mad & say what you gotta say right? RIGHT! So that's what im doing. I don't care what is said about him, me, or the other Simpson "FANS" so please quit wasting your time. Hahaha! & Honey, we don't need to take any kind of lessons from him but driving ones! Ok??? SMH, Simpson "fan" get these losers =)
FREE TSAYE!!!!!! WE LOVE YOU SIMPSON!!!!!! YOU GOT THE HATERS IN CHARLOTTESVILLE ON DECK!!!!! EVERYONE IS ON YOUR JOCK HONEY!!!! HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!! NOW WADDUP? cause 4 years aint a thing compared to the 20 something he was going to get! =D

Alyssa and simpson fans: According to Killeen, there were several whoppers:

- a come-pick-me-up call he placed moments after the crash to a friend via Horn’s cell phone,
- a don’t-snitch-on-me text message, again via Horn’s phone, sent to the friend moments after a police debriefing, and
- an incriminating phone call (which the friend put on speaker) when police returned to re-interrogate the friend.

Yeah, we haters alright! Hate that he messed up so bad, destroyed property and then did it again! We be hatin' that he didn't learn the first time and is now gonna get YEARS in juvi....what a shame, sounds like the dude had talent and was on a path to he jus be hangin' out wit the udder losers....he had a chance a blew it. Maybe you guys should learn from HIM!

you blame the fans? Haha! What did we have to do with that? D*mn, I swear yall some haters. Lol! Blame whoever, he got his time & there is nothing anyone can do about it now so your opinion is not needed!

Um yeah I'm another one of the Simpson fans & Obviously everyone has their own opinions...but like she said they're not needed you weren't there so you don't know anything & if it was one of your friends or a family member you would back them up 100% too just like were doing so honestly don't be hypocrites when you would do the same thing...he's serving his time so just leave it at that & there's nothing more that needs to be said about it.

How did he get Horns Cell Phone? Did he just happen to get out of the car and miraculously it was laying on the ground?

I blame the fans.

To clarify, this guy has thrown his life away (youth, life if he re-offends), and you girls are gloating over it all.

uhh yeah so this is the girlfriend & aww angel eyes, you sarcastic trick! I love you too! hahahahaaaaa

Interesting case. Before his arrest I already had him pegged, that is demographically, since only certain types of feral individuals could walk away from a crash like this. Love the girlfriend, too funny that it's all about "the man" setting him up and of course he's totally innocent and there was a conspiracy to "set him up".
What a crowd of utterly bizarre individuals who have little chance of ever being more than a burden to society, people who just act on impulse according to the expediencies of the moment, never with regard to consequences, and always ready to blame the world for the trouble they get into.
With all of this people in this country are actually worried about illegal immigrants??

...and pay up to a quarter of his post-release income toward the nearly $16,000 that State Farm insurance spent for the totaled car
Ummm... who's paying for the rest of the more than $100,000 in damages done?

That guy has a 1970's Afro. That's hip!

Yes! Terry!

And might I add:

House-scalping while the antichrist BHO loots and destroys our once great country.

Hey Your Mother...While I agree with you totally, just waiting for the "you dont know him" retorts (notice the ' was left out) far as respect, they haven't learn that respect is EARNED, not a right. With his actions, doubt respect is anything he will get from decent people. NBC29Fan: The fact he was a star athelete and someone had to "help" him write the apology letter, states a couple of things: 1. Our education system and Bush's "no child left behind" policy has failed. 2. Regret for his deeds is questionable (other than he got caught). JJ Malloy: the voucher might have not paid for Landon, but there are others that would have had just the same effect that were cheaper...and the pun on that was "Gee, GH had a high profile prep school and he still screwed up".....

This may seem like an open and shut case to most people, I just need to know if the glove fits to make up my mind.

Just another thug, apparently with friends and family enabling his foolishness. I'm glad he was caught and sentenced before he really hurt someone, I just wish the sentence was much, much longer.

ââ?¬Å?Obviously, you’ve got great potential...” Dude would make one heckova stunt driver. He ought to be sentenced to work on the next Dukes of Hazzard or James Bond movie and pay for damages with his earnings.

He's been set up several times now (sarcastic smile)! Hopefully, he will figure it out and get it together before he gets out. Waste of good athletic talent for the armchair athelete on Sundays.

Fiducious T Crackerflowa

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will be deleted by moderator in 5,4,3,2,1

WOW, there is no moderator. House scalpers are rare. We should keep this talented individual on ice for as long as possible just in case we need him to help solve future mysterious roof collapse incidents.

"Surrounded by four other female CHS students and self-avowed Simpson fans, Oakes asserted that Simpson pleaded merely to avoid stiffer punishment from a system ââ?¬Å?trying to set him up.” "

lol yeah right

@ simpson ''fan'' I know that's right! Get the people for blaming us. Lol wow! They don't know Tsaye, don't know us, don't know the real story & therefore you have no reason to judge anyone.

whateva dun pegged it righteous.

@ FREE SIMPSON yeah I know & its sad when it seems like they sit at their computers all day & comment news stories lol.

If it wasn't you or someone you know why care? They wouldn't care about you if it was the other way around. You don't really KNOW him & I doubt u ever will so don't judge him.

Ok whether he's guilty or not that still doesn't give anybody the right to disrespect obviously have nothing better to do then comment on something someone you don't know did. I feel sorry for you sweetheart but I'm sure if he was reading this he would love that u took time out of your day to think about him. =)

Ok... go ahead with that theory then. It don't matter to me! Think what you want, Say what you want, do what you want. It's whateva! Ya digg? I aint for da whole open my mouth & da flies start buzzin out! Naw meen homes? Look mane you want da real story you take yo self right on over 2 cell block 8 and ask for da goon. Take a stack & a battery wit you and "fried pickles" is gonna be the password to get past the doo. Once you in you gotta freestyle a couple of lyrics of da top of ya dome and let loose. Hit em wit da flex bout 3 times, pop lock and drop it den superman dat hoe and da guy with the red bandana on his head will let you know what went down! All jokes aside mane! Das how you do it if you want da info

TEAM SIMPSON!!! WOOHOO lol & cville eye is a little nosey sumbody but if your not in it you will never WADDUP!?!?!?!?

"led police on an 85 mile-per-hour chase along Rugby Road"!

85 miles-per-hour on Rugby Road?


The difference between him and our family members is: we don't have family members whose behavior is a threat to life and limb. But Alyssa, ya got taste in guys, and I got you pegged too!! That young man has all the makings of a prime "babydaddy"!!

Coulda got 20 years, eh? Give him time and he will, probably after costing someone else their life, but if the rest of us are lucky it'll just be one of those "misdemeanor murders" where he goes to jail and society doesn't miss whoever he does the deed on.

I'm sure he's a real charmer if he's at least temporarily in your corner, and surely burglarizing someone's house in the middle of the night, stealing their car and nearly killing a sleeping couple is no biggie and those folks can't possibly matter, can they?

Angel eyes, pegged right on in more ways than one.

I don't care about him, I'm glad he's in jail and should be there for much longer then 3 years. I never fail to be amused at "hater" being used as an insult. Yes I am a "hater", I hate criminals of all kinds. I don't know why the judge only gave this world class screw up 3 years in jail, it should have been much longer...

now you "fans" feel free to come back with whatever poorly worded, spelled, and only partially thought out come back. I'm sure it'll be worth checking back to read tomorrow

Hey! Whats all dis arguin' 4? C'mon now. We out here holdin' it down 4 my boy Tsaye! Oh aite! I see yall about to get your future read and what not, I was just wondering if I could ge mine done too. And im LMAO @ whoever "Whateva!" is cause he or she is probably a grown woman/man waisting their time arguing with teenage girls! Funny, I can see why you trippin Alyssa. Oh yeah what's good simpson "fan" ? I feel you too!!! TEAM SIMPSON ALL DA WAY MANE

@Cville Eye- Man I aint tellin you SH*T. You should have been at the trial if you wanted to hear about it!

"They don’t know Tsaye, don’t know us, don’t know the real story & therefore you have no reason to judge anyone." Then tell us the real story, FREE SIMPsON.

yes cleopatra AKA Whateva!. Since you seem to know Tsaye's future, why not tell simpson "fan" hers?

Hahahaha!!! Wow! Look hun, all im sayin' is I don't know why you are taking the time out of your day to keep speaking on him. Simpson "fan" you are right. You know he would be honored to see all these people talking about him. He always told me his life felt like a movie and now he has fans. Don't worry im sure he will sign autographs when he is released. And as for him getting that 20! You don't know that! I talk to him everyday and TRUST ME he has learned his lesson so quit speaking on the guy saying he is this or he is that or saying what he is going to do. You Cleopatra now? Predicting the future! Simpson "fan" stick your palm out, Whateva! is gonna read your palm lines and predict your future for FREE!!!! HAHAHAHA im trippin' so hard off these comments man! God, they are just making my day!

market street

It was all part of the elaborate set up, of course. The "man" had every possible contigency covered to make sure they got this guy.

The whole thing is pathetic..It's obvious even his girlfriends know he's guilty. I'm glad they think it's funny..he easily could have killed himself or, worse, killed some poor person sleeping in their own bed as he crashed through their house. And stealing other people's property for your own thrill and enjoyment..what a hoot!

This guy will be a burden to the state for years to come. Hilarious, right!

Why are yall seriously running yall mouths yall dnt no me alyssa simpson or da rest of his so called fans and i aint see none of yall at court so you dont know what youre talkin bout or what went down and why is yall on da internet shudnt yall be some where workin or takin care of yall kids

Find some better to do with lives n dats directed to every1 who left a negative comment

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This young man's long term objective is to attend PVCC?
Do we really need someone who drives like this on their curving hilly entryway, the site of so many accidents of non-daredevils already? Exercising such poor judgement there would kill people, but probably not him.

Once I watched the video I decided that he was trying to die.