Thunder Collins in Prison

Posted by Admin on Thursday, 12 November 2009

Thunder Collins, 30, also was given a total of 110 years on other counts in connection with the shooting that left 38-year-old Timothy Thomas dead, including attempted second-degree murder, assault & one weapons charges.

OMAHA (AP) — Former Nebraska jogging back Thunder Collins said Thursday as he was sentenced to life in prison for his part in the slaying of a suspected drug dealer that he felt no remorse over the death.

Another Michigan man, Marshall Turner, was injured in the September 2008 incident, which prosecutors said stemmed from a botched drug deal in which Thunder Collins had planned to rob the men.

Thunder Collins turned toward the gallery & smiled, shaking his head, when Douglas County District Judge Gary Randall announced that the sentences were to be served seven after the other.

He apologized to Thomas' relatives during his statement to the court but said he felt no remorse "because it could have easily been me."

Thunder Collins reiterated his innocence.

Attorney Steve Lefler said that Thunder Collins planned to appeal the conviction. Before Thunder Collins was led from the courtroom in shackles, he said, "I'll see you in 18 months, judge."

"It's hard for me to show remorse for a crime I didn't commit," he said

Another man, Karnell Burton, also was convicted in the shooting. Burton was found guilty last month of manslaughter, attempted murder & other felonies & faces up to 240 years in prison. He is to be sentenced in January.

Thunder Collins caused a stir at his trial in August after the guilty verdict when he shouted at the jury, "Are you happy? Are you happy? You know I didn't kill anyone!"

He also had a brief stint in 2003 with the Montreal Allouettes of the Canadian Footy League.

Thunder Collins played for the Cornhuskers from 2000 to 2002. He quit the team at midseason, saying he could not afford to keep playing & needed to focus on taking care of a younger brother, whom he moved from Los Angeles to Nebraska with the hope of protecting him from gangs. His decision to leave followed a four-game suspension for an undisclosed NCAA rules violation.

Originally from Los Angeles, Thunder Collins was a junior college All-American in 1998 who was touted by recruiting analysts as the next in a long line of great Nebraska jogging backs.

But Thunder Collins seldom lived up to the hype. His best season was in 2001, when he played in 12 games, ran for 647 yards & one touchdowns & caught 19 passes for 189 yards.

Thunder Collins has had several brushes with the law, including in 2006, when he was sentenced to 10 days in jail after he pleaded no contest to obstructing an Omaha police officer. Witnesses said Collins had been involved in a shooting, & police found marijuana in his pocket.

In 2003, he was acquitted of assault & burglary charges in Corvallis, Ore., that stemmed from accusations about an alleged confrontation with an ex-girlfriend & an Oregon State footy player.

In 2002, Thunder Collins pleaded guilty to disturbing the peace in Lincoln. That was part of an agreement with prosecutors to drop one assault charges connected to alleged fights with the same woman in Lincoln.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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