The parents of slain LSU basketball player Wayde Sims were seated in the front row of a downtown Baton Rouge courtroom Thursday when a grand jury indicted a Baker man on second-degree murder in their 20-year-old son’s September shooting death.

“We’re just here to see justice served,” Sims’ father, former LSU basketball player Wayne Sims, said as he and his wife, Fay, left a 19th Judicial District courtroom moments after Dyteon Simpson was charged by an East Baton Rouge Parish grand jury.

Simpson, 20, is accused of shooting Wayde Sims in the head when Sims stepped into a Sept. 28 fistfight to defend a friend outside a fraternity party just off the Southern University campus.

Simpson, of 4310 Burgess Drive, was arrested just over 24 hours after the fatal shooting when DNA evidence collected from a pair of glasses found on the scene matched a DNA sample he gave investigators, who had a search warrant.

Witnesses said the glasses were knocked off the shooter's face during the fight, an arrest report states.

Simpson later confessed to punching Sims' friend and then intentionally shooting Sims in the head, police have said.

East Baton Rouge Parish assistant public defender Margaret Lagattuta is representing Simpson but said she had no comment on the indictment.

Simpson faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison if convicted of second-degree murder. His case has been assigned to state District Judge Mike Erwin.

The shooting occurred about 12:30 a.m. near a Subway restaurant in the 600 block of Harding Boulevard, about a block from Southern's A.W. Mumford Stadium.

Investigators said they were swamped with tips after releasing a video of the fight and asking for the public's assistance. The video shows about eight men in the street fighting, at one point with three or four of them hurling punches, until two men — eventually identified as Sims and Simpson — break from the group. A single shot is then fired.

East Baton Rouge Parish’s coroner, Dr. William “Beau” Clark, said Sims died of a gunshot to the head that traveled into his neck.

Simpson has been jailed on $350,000 bail since his arrest. He has filed motions seeking a bail reduction. Simpson claims the bail amount is excessive, and that he is not a flight risk.

Sims, a 6-foot-6 forward, was killed just hours before what would have been his first official practice of his junior year at LSU. The Tigers are wearing a patch on their uniforms this season in memory of their fallen teammate. Sims and his father both wore the No. 44 at LSU.

Wayde Sims was a standout at University High. In November, the school retired his No. 44 Cubs jersey.

He scored 3,045 points and had 1,613 rebounds while at U-High. He was the Louisiana Gatorade Player of the Year in 2015 and helped the Cubs win three straight Class 3A titles.

Simpson’s criminal record contains only one prior arrest: a misdemeanor summons in Baker for contributing to the delinquency of juveniles. The summons stemmed from a curfew violation during the 2016 flooding. He was with two younger teenagers who also were in violation of the curfew, authorities said.


Follow Joe Gyan Jr. on Twitter, @JoeGyanJr.