Collins found not guilty of first-degree murder, guilty of second-degree murder
MANKATO -- Tyron Collins was found not guilty of first-degree murder, but guilty of two counts of second-degree murder Friday in Blue Earth County District Court, according to Jackson County Attorney Robert O'Connor.
Collins, 39, of Jackson, was arrested in June 2010 after crashing his vehicle in Nobles County. He was fleeing from authorities at the time after witnesses saw him stab his brother at the Colonial Manor in Lakefield. His brother, who suffered multiple stab wounds to the chest and side, had been a certified nursing assistant at the nursing home. He was taken to the emergency room at the Jackson County hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Collins, who left the nursing home on foot, got in his vehicle and left, and was later encountered on Nobles County 35 by the Wor-thington Police Department. He ran a stop sign on Minnesota 60 and crashed his vehicle into a ditch. After being treated at the Wor-thington hospital, he was taken to the Jackson County Jail.
Collins was indicted in November 2010 for first-degree murder, and at a plea hearing in April told the judge he did not want to go to trial with the case, but was hoping to get a better plea offer. Through his attorney, he had contacted Minnesota Attorney General Al Zdrazil and asked if he could plead to first-degree manslaughter. He was told it was not an option.
Collins told the judge going to trial would be a waste of money and was something he didn't want to put his family through. He admitted in court that he had killed his brother.
"I admit it. There's no denying it," he said. "I'm guilty."
Even with that admission, Collins would not plead guilty, still holding out for the manslaughter plea.
"I told him under no uncertain terms that was never a consideration," Zdrazil stated.
The case was slated to go to trial in May in Jackson County District Court, but approximately 130 prospective jurors later, the courts realized they were not going to be able to seat a jury in the area. A change of venue was ordered, and the case sent up to Blue Earth County District Court in Mankato.
According to O'Connor, a verdict from the jury earlier today convicted Collins of two counts of second-degree murder and found him not guilty of a first-degree murder charge with a life sentence. He was also acquitted of manslaughter. Sentencing will be at a later date, which has yet to be determined.