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Scottsdale PD: Woman admits to suffocating 79-year-old mother to death with pillow

Posted at 4:20 PM, May 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-14 20:20:47-04

SCOTTSDALE, AZ — A Valley woman is facing a second-degree murder charge after she admitted to murdering her mother Monday afternoon.

According to Sgt. Ben Hoster, dispatchers received a call around 2 p.m. from someone at an apartment complex near 64th Street and Osborn Road saying their neighbor asked them to call 911.

Scottsdale police say Holly Brennan, 46, later told the dispatcher that she had killed her mother, Sharon Simmons. Officers responded and found Simmons deceased in a bed.

Brennan told police she suffocated her mother. According to a probable cause statement, police say Brennan approached her mother between 10 and 11 a.m., pushed her onto the bed and got on top of her.

Police say Brennan admitted to smothering her mother with a pillow and her hand, and it took "a couple of minutes" before Simmons stopped fighting back.

While being interviewed by police, authorities say Brennan "made comments of 'I wanted her gone' and 'I hated her.'"

"Then they put the cuffs on her and sat her down on the sidewalk," said Michael Bennett, a neighbor. "I couldn't believe what I was hearing. It took a couple seconds for it to sink in, and I'm like, 'Wow she just admitted that!'"

Police say Brennan and Simmons live together and have a history of domestic violence. Court paperwork details Brennan was arrested in 2017 for threatening to kill her mother in a Facebook post and she sought treatment after thinking about killing her mother in December 2018.

Neighbors told ABC15 Simmons was beloved in the complex. "She was a very nice lady. Everybody in the apartment complex just loved her," said Ross Blaisdell.

"She was a sweet lady. The daughter was a little sketchy," said Bennett.

If you or someone you know is the victim of domestic or sexual violence, there are several local and national organizations offering resources. Anyone in need of immediate assistance should contact either the Maricopa County Shelter Line at 480-890-3039, the National 24-Hour Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673), or the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence at 602-279-2900. A number of organizations are available 24 hours a day for anyone at risk of experiencing domestic or sexual violence. See a directory of domestic violence programs here.