Northland dad arrested for locking child in dirty home has criminal past of neglect, domestic abuse

CLAYCOMO, Mo. - A 41 Action News investigation has uncovered documents showing the criminal past of the man at the center of a child endangerment case in the Northland.

On Thursday, authorities arrested James C. Simpson for leaving his three-year-old daughter padlocked alone inside a home for several hours. Claycomo police broke the lock and said they found pornography and needles inside.

He was charged Friday with first-degree child endangerment and misdemeanor stealing for allegedly shoplifting women's undergarments while the girl was left unattended.

41 Action News discovered 33-year-old Simpson was convicted of child neglect a decade ago in Oklahoma. He also has an outstanding warrant for a domestic abuse charge.

In February, 2002, Simpson was arrested for driving under the influence with his two children in the car at 3:30 a.m. in Ardmore, Okla.

A police officer noticed him driving left of the center line and pulled him over. The officer said the man had slurred speech and had a very strong smell of alcohol. A breathalyzer test registered the then 22-year-old's blood-alcohol level at .13.

The officer arrested him for DUI and child endangerment and the other adult female passenger for public intoxication. The report said a 3-year-old and 3-month-old were asleep in the backseat of the car.

In August, 2002, Simpson pleaded guilty to felony child neglect. He spent a weekend in the Carter County Jail, paid a fine, and received a three-year probation.

Two years later, he faced charges for domestic abuse.

An Ardmore police report described a "scuffle" with his ex-girlfriend and mother of his two-year-old child. The woman was suspicious of some cars that had been circling in front of the house and questioned him about whether they were drug dealers.

The woman reported that Simpson became upset and threw a box of crackers at her face before hitting her on the head and knocking her to the ground. She then told police he squeezed her left arm, leaving a bruise.

Officers reported seeing evidence that made them suspicious of drug use, but said Simpson would not agree to a search of the home.

On March 4, 2004, he was charged with domestic abuse.

Carter County still has an outstanding warrant for the domestic abuse case because Simpson never appeared for court. There is another outstanding warrant for failing to pay the costs of his child neglect conviction.

Records show Simpson was also arrested by Kansas City police in August and charged with stealing. He bonded out for $1,000.

Bart Cooper, owner of Freedom Bonding, LLC, said a bondsman was trying to track down Simpson on Thursday because he had used a counterfeit check to pay his bail fee. The bondsman discovered the 3-year-old alone and called police.

Simpson is the father of three children, according to court records.

Ryan Kath can be reached at ryan.kath@kshb.com . You can follow him on Twitter or connect with him on Facebook.

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