Mount Vernon News
 
 
Bruce Malek, defense attorney for Michael Collins, appeals to the jury to find his client not guilty by reason of self defense in the death of Lilly Dawn Pressley-Claggett and the shooting of Jesse Collins.
Bruce Malek, defense attorney for Michael Collins, appeals to the jury to find his client not guilty by reason of self defense in the death of Lilly Dawn Pressley-Claggett and the shooting of Jesse Collins. (Photo by Samantha Scoles)

By Mount Vernon News
July 23, 2012 11:45 am EDT

 

MOUNT VERNON — Michael Collins’ future now rests in the hands of the jury after legal counsel presented closing arguments in a special session of Knox County Common Pleas Court on Saturday. The panel of six men and six women deliberated about four hours on Saturday before going into recess until 9 a.m. this morning.

“We can’t do anything without you,” Knox County Prosecutor John Thatcher told the jury. “You are the decision makers. Without you, we would be in a gunfight old-west style.”

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In his closing statements, Thatcher explained to the jury why they should find guilty verdicts in the nine counts against Collins and why the defense failed to established a viable case of self-defense.

Thatcher climbed the ladder of charges from tampering with evidence, having a weapon under legal disability, felonious assault (one count each for both Lily Dawn Pressley-Claggett and Jesse Collins), involuntary manslaughter, voluntary manslaughter, attempted murder of Jesse Collins, murder of Pressley-Claggett caused as a result of another felony and murder purposely caused by Collins.

If the jury finds Collins guilty of any of the murder, manslaughter or felonious assault charges, it must then decide if the defense met its burden of proof to determine if Collins acted to defend himself and/or his daughter, to determine an ultimate verdict of guilty or not guilty.

Thatcher reviewed with the jury specific pieces of testimony that was presented by the state to substantiate guilty verdicts for the charges.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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