Collins due to face grand jury Wednesday

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 3, 2005


Staff Reporter

LAPLACE – Brandon Collins, charged with manslaughter in the Dec. 28, 2004 shooting death of Robert Jones is scheduled to appear before a grand jury on Feb. 9.

According to First Assistant District Attorney Charles Lorio, the charges on Collins could be dropped, reduced or increased to second-degree murder.

“The grand jury will review all information gathered during an investigation of the case and they will make a decision as to what charge they will apply to the case,” said Lorio.

Collins, 22, of 363 N.W. Second Street, Reserve, was arrested on the same day he called authorities with the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office and confessed he shot Robert Jones, 21, also of Reserve, according to an initial press release issued by the Sheriff’s office.

Authorities reported a shootout occurred at 5:20 p.m. between the two men in the parking lot of the Cash-N-Carry convenience store located at the corner of East 13th Street and River Road in Reserve and that Jones died from four gunshot wounds received during the incident.

Collins was charged with manslaughter and was booked into the Sherman Walker Correctional Center.

While being interrogated, Collins told authorities Jones fired at him with a .380 caliber handgun, while he (Collins) was sitting in his car. Collins confessed he got out of his vehicle and began firing back at Jones – striking him with bullets from his semi-automatic assault rifle.

According to a police report filed by an investigating officer, several bullet holes were found in both vehicles, along with shot out windows. The report stated deputies located a .380 caliber bullet behind the front passenger side tire of Collins’s vehicle and one bullet in Jones’s clothing. Several empty casings from both weapons were found on the ground and a Roman WASR-10 rifle was found in the rear seat of Collins vehicle. A .380 caliber semi-automatic pistol was located on the ground in the parking lot of the convenience store.

Authorities said Jones was struck four times.

According to the report, Acadian Emergency Medical Service transported Jones to River Parishes Hospital to have him airlifted to Charity Hospital, where he later died as a result of his gunshot wounds.

Authorities believe the murder of Robert Jones may have stemmed from a Dec. 24 argument between Jones and Collins’ brother outside the Dreams nightclub located at 944 Highway 44 in Reserve.

Authorities do not believe Collins was present during the argument.

On Jan. 23, Joshua Jones, 18, of LaPLace was charged with first-degree murder and four counts of being a principal to attempted first-degree murder in the death of Byron Davis, 22, of 404 Historic East Street, Garyville.

Jones is the brother of Robert Jones.

At a recent gathering of clergy, united to address recent violence, Sheriff Wayne L. Jones said it is possible Joshua Jones targeted Davis because he mistook him for Collins.

“Davis was driving a car similar to that of Collins,” said Jones.

Four other males were riding in the car with Davis when Davis was killed. One man was shot in the head while a second was shot in the arm. A third man was uninjured, while a juvenile sustained a broken leg.

Three additional men were arrested in connection with the Davis murder and authorities are searching for a fourth man.

Lorio said he is responsible for overseeing the Collins case and for bringing it before the grand jury.

Court records name Richard Stricks as Collins’s public defender and Sterling Snowdy as his trial judge.