Urbana woman charged with murder pleads not guilty

By Daniel Johnson

After being charged with first-degree murder in the death of her live-in boyfriend, Vera M. Simmons of Urbana plead not guilty Tuesday afternoon to the charge.

Simmons, 30, allegedly murdered Aaron D. Patton, her roommate, during a domestic dispute. The autopsy on Patton determined that he was stabbed to death.

Simmons’ legal counsel was not on hand and she was granted a public defender, who entered Simmons’ plea of not guilty after waiving the formal reading. Her felony pre-trial was set for September 23 in courtroom A at 9 a.m. in the Champaign County Courthouse.

Simmons’ public defender declined comment following the appearance.