Jesse Lamar Simmons has pleaded not guilty to charges accusing him of killing his girlfriend in 2019, according to Cherokee County court records.

Simmons, 42, entered a not guilty plea Friday, court records show. He was indicted May 11 on charges alleging he shot his girlfriend in the chest in 2019 at a home in Canton.

He faces charges of murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, tampering with evidence and violating Georgia’s controlled substances act.

His girlfriend, Tammy Jean Gilbert, was alive when police responded to the home but later died from the gunshot wound, according to Cherokee Sheriff’s Office reports. She was 55, and had left the home earlier that day to attend her daughter’s wedding.

Authorities said Simmons called 911 reporting an attempted suicide, and told responding deputies his girlfriend had shot herself, the Tribune previously reported.

The case is pending trial, a representative from the district attorney’s office said, not commenting further on the case. Confirmation on when a trial may be scheduled was not immediately available.

An attorney representing Simmons declined to comment.

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Shannon Ballew is the managing editor at the Cherokee Tribune and the Cherokee Ledger-News. She is a graduate of Young Harris College and lives in unincorporated Woodstock.

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