Simmons convicted of murdering Michael Hill

Dennis Lee Simmons, 59, of Weldon, was found guilty of first-degree murder in the 2011 death of Michael Thomas Hill, 52, of Ridgecrest.

The decision of the Superior Court of California was handed down during a jury trial July 25 in Bakersfield’s Metro Division.

Simmons will be formally sentenced on Aug. 22 in Bakersfield.

Kern County Sheriff’s depu-ties arrested Simmons in August 2011 in connection with the crime.

Detectives began their investigation after receiving a report of a human hand found sticking out of the sand in the Hanning Flat area of Lake Isabella.

A team including investigators from the coroner’s office and technical investigators located the body of an adult male buried one to two feet deep in sand. The body was later identified as Hill.

Story First Published: 2012-08-01