Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

January 17, 2013

Greenup. man charged with judge threat claims insanity

LOUISVILLE — A northeastern Kentucky man described by officials as "very cold" plans to use an insanity defense in response to charges he threatened to kill the federal judge and attorneys involved a child pornography case that landed his father in federal prison.

By filing an insanity defense on behalf of 18-year-old Michael Alexander Collins, defense attorney Willis Coffey is claiming his client is not responsible for his actions due to mental health problems.

Coffey filed a notice of defense Tuesday in federal court, a day after Collins made his initial appearance in federal court. Coffey declined to elaborate on the case beyond what has been filed in court.

U.S. Marshals in Lexington arrested Collins of Greenup County on Friday. Deputy Marshal Rick Kelley wrote in an affidavit that Collins plotted to shoot judge David Bunning and others because they handled the case of his father, who pleaded guilty to a charge of receiving child pornography.

Kelley wrote that Collins never carried out an attack, which he discussed with people at the Appalachian Challenge Academy, a school in Harlan designed for 16- to 18-year-olds who have dropped out or are at risk of dropping out of school.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Hanley Ingram ordered Collins detained by the U.S. Marshals. Collins was hospitalized from mid-December through Monday.

No one responded immediately to an email sent to the Appalachian Challenge Academy on Wednesday morning. A message left for U.S. Marshal Loren "Squirrel" Carl in Lexington was not immediately returned.

The case grew out of a call made in December by the Greenup County Attorney's office to federal officials. Collins told a residential counselor at the school that upon graduation, he planned to buy a gun and "kill everyone" involved in the prosecution and imprisonment of his father, 53-year-old John Nelson Collins.

The elder Collins is serving an 11-year sentence in federal prison after pleading guilty to a federal charge of receipt of child pornography. He is currently in the federal prison camp in Beaumont, Texas.

Bunning and U.S. Magistrate Judge Edward Atkins of Ashland, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Denny and defense attorney Michael J. Curtis of Ashland all handled John Collins' case.

The counselor, who is not identified in the complaint, told investigators that Collins wanted to use three people and had been practicing with friends by firing from an elevated position with different rifles, Kelley wrote. The counselor described Collins as "very cold, calm and did not listen to reason" during their conversation.

"When Collins was told that he would likely be gunned down by law enforcement, he stated he did not care," Kelley wrote.

The counselor's allegations were backed up by a recruiter for the academy, Kelley wrote. The arrest of Collins was delayed at the request of prosecutors, who opted to leave Collins in a treatment center in Hazard after Kelley wrote the complaint.

"Collins is still dangerous, and the government intends to follow through with prosecution upon his release from involuntary commitment," wrote Assistant U.S. Attorney A. Spencer McKinnis.

 

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 07/25/2014 — This Week in the Tri-State

    Local news

    July 25, 2014

  • Golden Corral sends children to camp

    Ashland’s Golden Corral teamed with other restaurants across nation this year to raise $1.5 million to send a total of 3,000 children to Camp Corral.
     

    July 24, 2014

  • Burglars steal golf gear

    A couple of golf enthusiasts might not make their tee times Saturday because burglars stole golf equipment from their garages.

    July 24, 2014

  • Music instructor claims age discrimination

    The Russell Independent School District is denying allegations of a former band director who claims in a lawsuit the district discriminated against him because of his age.
     

    July 24, 2014

  • Financial blunder leads to heated board discussion

    In a surprising turn of events, City Manager Ben Bitter’s supervision authority was challenged by the Board of Commissioners after Commissioner Cheryl Spriggs filed a motion to have legal and finance department heads also report to the board in light of a financial blunder by Bitter.
    Ashland Mayor Chuck Charles and City Attorney Richard “Sonny” Martin confirmed a new ordinance will be drafted so the department heads of finance and legal counsel will be checked by the board, in addition to Bitter’s current oversight.

    July 24, 2014

  • Stricter enforcement, diagonal spots endorsed to help downtown

    A group of business owners operating along Winchester Avenue — Ashland’s main thoroughfare — asked the Ashland Board of Commissioners to replace current parallel parking spots with diagonal ones, and also for more strick enforcement of a two-hour parking law.

    July 24, 2014

  • National act takes stage at Boyd County Fair

    The Building of Dreams erupted into screams Thursday night at the 2014 Boyd County Fair, as country music fans saw Bucky Covington take the stage.
    According to Ellen Keaton, fair board president, Covington was a favorite on season five of Fox’s talent competition series American Idol.

    July 24, 2014

  • Smoke-free advocates bound for Ashland

    Advocates for smoke-free public spaces are touring the state, starting in Ashland, to drum up support for anti-tobacco legislation they hope to pass next year.
    Smoke-Free Kentucky is a coalition of organizations and people who support a ban on smoking in all public and work places in Kentucky.

    July 24, 2014

  • Ohio State Band Direc_Mayn.jpg Ohio State marching band chief fired after probe

    Ohio State University fired the director of its celebrated marching band on Thursday after determining he ignored a "sexualized" culture of rituals including students being pressured to march in their underwear and participate in sexually themed stunts.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Grimes has pep rally before energetic Democrats

    Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes was preaching to the Democratic choir Thursday night at the Wendell Ford Dinner attended by about 700 here.

    July 24, 2014

Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP basketball
SEC Zone