Kathleen teen accused of sister’s slaying expected to plead not guilty Wednesday

bpurser@macon.comNovember 13, 2012 

WARNER ROBINS -- A 17-year-old accused of shooting her sister to death before setting a fire inside the family’s Kathleen home is expected to enter a plea of not guilty at her arraignment Wednesday, her attorney says.

Carmen Collins is charged with murder and arson in the July 3 slaying of 12-year-old India Ja’Nai Collins, a seventh-grader at Mossy Creek Middle School.

The arraignment is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. before Houston County Superior Court Judge Katherine K. Lumsden, Houston County Public Defender Nick White wrote in an e-mail.

He could not be reached for comment by telephone.

White has previously said the teenager says she did not shoot her sister and that he has information he believes will exonerate her. He has declined to elaborate.

The sisters were alone at their Addington Drive home between 5 and 7 p.m. when Carmen Collins allegedly used her father’s .40-caliber handgun to shoot her sister in the foyer/living room area, authorities said.

Collins fled in the family’s 2011 Acura TL, taking with her the gun and the family dog, authorities said. She was arrested July 5 during a traffic stop in Columbus. Columbus police recovered the gun in a trash can outside a barbecue restaurant.

Collins has been held without bond since her arrest.

To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.

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