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4th of July Shooting Trial Continues

Thursday, April 9, 2009 - 5:49pm

Closing arguments began today in the Devin Collins attempted murder trial, one of the men accused of shooting two people on the levee after a 2007 4th of July firework show. The fate of 19-year-old Devin Collins now rests in the hands of the judge, who has to determine whether Collins intended to shoot someone two years ago on the levee.

It all boils down to intent. For the past week Prosecutor Aaron Brooks has ahd the burden of trying to prove Devin Collins’ involvement in a tragic 4th of July shooting that left two people severely injured. The defense has maintained that there is little physical or scientific evidence to link Collins to the shooting, except for an officer who saw him throw away a .25 caliber handgun that night. District Attorney Hillar Moore says, “It is the only issue the defense they can raise, it will not carry today based on the facts in particular the law, but the defense did an excellent job for the defendant.”

Before closing arguments, Judge Chip Moore threw out conspiracy charges against Collins. On Wednesday the defense move for an acquittal, saying that the prosecution failed to prove Collins actually planned to shoot someone on the levee. Left to prove intent, Prosecutor Aaron Brooks argued that Collins is guilty as a principal, saying “firing a gun at somebody is attempt, event if it’s accidental.”

Defense attorney Robert Tucker says the trial has been an emotional rollercoaster for both sides, including Collins. “There’s a certain amount of consoling that goes on all the time so the boy is scared as everyone should be.” Tucker says he and his team are confident the judge will keep an open mind when making his final ruling. “I believe that opened mind comes from the fact he wants to know whether or not there needs to be a specific individual relative to establish the criminal attempted murder type of scenario.”

Judge Moore will give his ruling later this month. Collins is being tried on two counts of attempted second degree murder. If convicted, he could face 50 years in prison.