Oct. 6-Day one of a preliminary hearing Thursday revealed new details in a homicide case attached to a prolific Colorado Springs criminal.
Deka Simmons, 38, is facing her third first-degree murder charge in the death of Daxcimo Ceja on Feb. 16, 2022. Simmons was arrested nearly two months later by Colorado Springs police.
Prosecution drew connections between Ceja's status as a sex offender and Simmons' documented feelings about sexual predators, suggesting it could be the motivation for the murder. A warrant was out for Ceja's arrest at the time of his death because he failed to register as a sex offender.
CSPD detective Jerry Schiffelbei testified that one of Simmons' former jail roommates told him that Simmons once said she killed a man because she believed he was a child molester.
Another testimony by Detective Jason Gasper revealed Simmons has a 5-year-old daughter who she perceives to be a sexual assault victim at the hands of Simmons' stepfather, whom she stabbed in 2019 following a verbal altercation over custody. She was charged with second-degree assault and sent to prison.
A witness told Gasper that Simmons had admitted to shooting a man in the garage of 317 W. Harrison St. and transporting the body in a van. The witness said Simmons never identified the man as Ceja but made the inference on her own.
"DID YOU CLEAN THE HOUSE???" Simmons reportedly sent via Facebook messenger on Feb. 20, four days after the homicide took place. The witness responded that she did not want to involve outside "cleaners" because that would cause "too many loose ends."
Testimony has not yet revealed where or if Ceja's body was found, but blood samples pulled from the garage - which had more than 300 small blood stains - matched Ceja's DNA. Investigators found fresh paint where they believe more blood was covered up.
One witness told Gasper that Simmons shot Ceja three times with a .357-caliber handgun, which she always carried on her. The witness did not see the murder firsthand, nor did she hear gunshots despite being at the house that day.
Another witness told Gasper that Simmons shot Ceja with a .357-caliber handgun, dismembered the body, and stored it in a freezer.
The preliminary hearing with the 4th Judicial Court District will continue at 9:30 a.m. Friday with a final witness.