A Pulaski County jury deliberated only 25 minutes Thursday night to find Michael Ivory Collins guilty of capital murder and aggravated robbery for the December slayings of a Little Rock mother and her two young children. The verdict capped a two-day trial before Circuit Judge Herb Wright, who imposed three consecutive life sentences for the year-old defendant. Authorities had waived the death penalty. Defense attorneys Katherine Streett and Jeff Rosenzweig argued that there was a good chance genetic testing on the shoes had been mishandled and that Collins had their DNA on his footwear because he had briefly lived with the family.
They told jurors his co-defendant, his half-brother, William Burnell Alexander, 23, held Cunningham down while Collins fatally tortured her children to get her to give up any cash. The brothers finally killed Cunningham after she saw her children die, prosecutors said. The only thing the pair got out of the killings was a TV and an X-Box video-game console.
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The former cellmate of the man accused of decapitating children in Little Rock in front of their mother told a Pulaski County jury Thursday afternoon that the accused killer was haunted by "demons" after the family's deaths. The cellmate, year-old Marino Bernard Scott, testified for the prosecution in the trial of Michael Ivory Collins, 26, charged with three counts of capital murder. After the stand-off, a judge issued court orders requiring him to stay away from her for six months and to undergo a psychiatric exam.
By the early s, Bernard Peters was living in Liverpool with his third wife and working at a bowling alley. It was around this time that his life began to unravel. Scott Peters had moved back home to be closer to his father. Among their victims was Mary Halloran, 61, the manager of the Salvation Army thrift shop in town. The father and son were charged with shooting and robbing Mrs. Halloran was shot once in her right thigh.
The Peterses pleaded not guilty to the charges, and though both men expressed remorse for the crimes in interviews, they spoke in generalities about the robberies rather than in specifics. Bernard said he did not remember who came up with the idea to rob the Salvation Army. Halloran, according to court documents, Scott said he did not blame his father for his life behind bars. I knew better. So I just started doing the wrong things. Picking a gun up and going out and getting money, which I knew was wrong then.
The jury deliberated about seven hours before finding them guilty of second-degree attempted murder, robbery and other charges. Sitting near the Elmira visiting room, Bernard Peters said he could not explain how and why he and his son ended up at the Salvation Army that day. If there was, then I would feel a lot better why I am here.
Cunningham seemed equally puzzled, and suggested that drugs had played a role. It says Crazy Bernie is your nickname. Maybe that has something to do with it. I suspect cocaine. I suspect you were into the drug cocaine and lost whatever control you had. Mary Halloran was in the courtroom that day, and she spoke of the toll the shooting had taken on her.
I am a prisoner with no chance of parole. She asked the judge to impose the maximum sentence, and he did. Scott Peters, who was turning 28 the next day, was given a sentence of 25 to 50 years. His father, then 54, received a longer sentence, but because of a state sentencing reduction statute is now also serving 25 to 50 years. Judge Cunningham allowed Scott and Bernard Peters to gather for a moment with their relatives in a corner of the courtroom.
The two men embraced, and cried. They said the judge had told them they might never see each other again.
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Chained together, they rode in a van to Elmira, where they were placed in separate cells in late May A few weeks later, Bernard Peters said he wrote a letter by hand to Floyd G. The brothers finally killed Cunningham after she saw her children die, prosecutors said. The only thing the pair got out of the killings was a TV and an X-Box video-game console. The former cellmate of the man accused of decapitating children in Little Rock in front of their mother told a Pulaski County jury Thursday afternoon that the accused killer was haunted by "demons" after the family's deaths.
The cellmate, year-old Marino Bernard Scott, testified for the prosecution in the trial of Michael Ivory Collins, 26, charged with three counts of capital murder.deathbtransorvesi.ga
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Collins is accused of fatally stabbing 5-year-old A'Laylaih Fisher and her 4-year-old brother, Elijah Fisher, before he killed their mother, year-old Mariah Cunningham in December Scott told the jury he and Collins discussed the crimes over the 30 or so days they shared a cell. Collins then broke down and told Scott he was charged with three murders and feared the death penalty.
The conversation continued on and off, Scott said, and eventually Collins told his cellmate he and his brother had gone to Cunningham's home hoping to get money.
Collins also said he was worried about the blood on his shoes taken by police during his arrest, Scott said, and asked if DNA could be taken from them.
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