PERRY -- A bond hearing is scheduled for Thursday for a 17-year-old accused of shooting her sister to death before setting a fire inside the familys Kathleen home.
Carmen Collins is charged with murder and arson in the July 3 slaying of 12-year-old India Collins, a seventh-grader at Mossy Creek Middle School.
Houston County Public Defender Nick White, who is representing Carmen Collins, said Tuesday the teenager says shes not guilty and did not shoot her sister.
White said he has information he believes will exonerate her. He declined to elaborate, saying he wanted to proceed with caution and deliberation. When the truth comes out about the case, it will be shocking, White said.
District Attorney George Hartwig said bond will be opposed. He declined to elaborate, saying the arguments against bond will come out during the hearing before Superior Court Judge Katherine K. Lumsden. The district attorneys office generally opposes bond in murder cases. Hartwig also declined to comment on Whites statements.
Houston County sheriffs investigator Lt. Jon Holland said the sisters were alone at their Addington Drive home between 5 and 7 p.m. when Carmen Collins used her parents .40-caliber handgun to shoot her sister in the foyer/living room area.
Gasoline kept in a storage shed for the lawn mower was used to start a fire, Holland has said. Carmen Collins fled in the familys 2011 Acura TL, taking with her the gun and a white poodle named Cooper, the familys dog, he said. The parents were not home.
Carmen Collins was arrested about 2 a.m. July 5 during a traffic stop in Columbus. Columbus police recovered the gun in a trash can outside a barbecue restaurant, according to Holland.
To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.