Stanley Miles Simons, Murderer of Freedom Writers Actor Armand Jones, Poses for Ugliest Police Mugshot

OK, to be honest, a high-speed pursuit suspect's police mugshot was uglier than Stanley Simons' shown here.

But this week's winner committed a much, much uglier crime.

Simons, 24, helped take from the world rising star Armand Jones, who was gunned down in Anaheim shortly after he finished filming the Hilary Swank movie Freedom Writers.

In fact, the 18-year-old was at the Boogie nightclub March 17, 2006, celebrating the last day of shooting the film inspired by the real-life experiences of Erin Gruwell (played by two-time Oscar winner Swank), who left the safety of her hometown of Newport Beach to teach at underachieving Woodrow Wilson High School in Long Beach.

Jones played Grant Rice, a student and gang member who escaped a drive-by shooting death in Freedom Writers.

Ironically, he was killed by Long Beach gang members.

A group of nine or 10 followed two of Jones' friends, Giovanni Boyd and Dwayne Washington, into a restroom at a Denney's Restaurant next to the Boogie, robbing them at gunpoint of shoes, jewelry and cell phones. When Jones went inside to see what was going on, he was also robbed.

Stanley Miles Simons, the first to be tried and the first to be convicted in Jones' slaying.
Stanley Miles Simons, the first to be tried and the first to be convicted in Jones' slaying.
Courtesy of the Orange County District Attorney's Office

As the gang bangers fled, Jones and his friends gave chase through the restaurant and into the parking lot. A gun was fired at their pursuers. Jones was shot once in the shoulder, but the bullet pierced through his chest. Bleeding, Jones staggered back into Denny's, collapsed and died. Ronnell Spencer, who had also been celebrating at the Boogie before hitting Denny's, ran outside because of the commotion. He was shot once in the head but survived.

Freedom Writers was released after Jones died.

Simons was the first of six reputed Long Beach gang members to stand trial in the case. He was convicted this week of first-degree murder with special circumstances and faces a sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole from Orange County Superior Court Judge Thomas M. Goethals on July 15.

More (alleged) uglies: Jerrell Kelly (left) and Damon Hill.
More (alleged) uglies: Jerrell Kelly (left) and Damon Hill.

The accused triggerman, 29-year-old Charles Reynolds, just concluded a pre-trial hearing. Also up on similar charges are: Damon Hill, 26; Jarrell Kelly, 22; Yolanda Brown, 26; and Nicholas Valerio, 29.


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