Chattanooga man stabbed to death on Wednesday had history of domestic assault

Marcus Allen and Denisha Simmons are pictured in this combo photo.

UPDATED Dec. 16 2:53 p.m.: A 40-year-old man stabbed to death Wednesday in what appears to be a domestic dispute in East Lake Courts had a history of domestic violence, records show.

Marcus Allen was killed at a home on Sixth Avenue around 5:20 p.m., police said.

The mother of Allen's child was taken into custody for questioning but has not been charged in connection with his death. Denisha Simmons, 33, instead was arrested Wednesday on outstanding warrants for a failure to appear charge, police said.

Records show Allen was charged with assaulting Simmons in April and again in August. He also pleaded guilty to two counts of domestic assault in 1999.

In April, officers responded to the home on Sixth Avenue and found Simmons with obvious injuries - a large knot above her right eye, a swollen eye, a knot above her left temple and scratches on her face and neck, records show.

She told police on April 15 that she and Allen were arguing about money when Allen began to choke and punch her. She said she was holding their infant child at the time and that Allen intentionally struck the baby. He fled before police arrived. Officers issued a warrant for his arrest at that time, but he remained free.

On Aug. 1, police were called to the home on reports of a fight and again found Simmons with clear injuries. This time, she had a swollen face and was bleeding from her lip and mouth. She and an 11-year-old child both told police that Allen began punching Simmons as the pair fought and yelled.

Simmons told police they were fighting about Allen talking to other women. Officers noted that Allen also had a scratch on his chin.

That day, Allen was arrested for domestic assault and for the open warrants from the April incident. The charges were still pending when he was killed Wednesday.

Both Allen and Simmons have criminal records in Hamilton County. Simmons' record includes mostly charges for theft, trespassing and assault. Allen's record included driving under the influence, possession of marijuana, assault and evading arrest.

Allen is the 33rd person to be killed in Chattanooga so far this year, according to Times Free Press records, and is the 21st black man to be killed in the city. So far, 88 percent of the people killed this year were black and 63 percent were black men.

Eight black women have been killed, as well as two white women, one white man and one Hispanic woman, according to The Toll, a Times Free Press database of all homicides in the city.

In all of 2015, the city saw 30 homicides. This year is the first time the city has surpassed 30 homicides in a single year since at least 2001.

Contact staff writer Shelly Bradbury at 423-757-6525 or with tips or story ideas. Follow @ShellyBradbury.