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Collins’ preliminary hearing Friday

Dereck Collins, accused of murder in the death of 3-year-old Brooklyn Hope Peters, faces a Friday preliminary hearing in Lawrence County Municipal Court.

Monday, September 17, 2001

Dereck Collins, accused of murder in the death of 3-year-old Brooklyn Hope Peters, faces a Friday preliminary hearing in Lawrence County Municipal Court.

Because the murder charge is a felony, Collins’s case will likely be bound over to the grand jury.

Collins, 22, of Township Road 1067, appeared in court last Friday, where Judge Donald Capper set a $250,000 bond.

Sheriff Tim Sexton said last week that the investigation is continuing.

Deputies became suspicious when Collins flagged an officer down at a Burlington gas station the night of Sept. 12, saying the daughter of his girlfriend was having trouble breathing, Sexton said.

Some officers went to the hospital, while others traveled to the residence, the sheriff said.

They felt there was obvious signs of injury to the girl, especially facial injuries, and that prompted deputies to look into the situation, he said.

Investigators arrested Collins the next morning, charging him with murder and child endangering, arrest reports show.

An autopsy was performed, but the sheriff would not release details except to say the girl’s injuries supported the arrest.

It will take two to four weeks until the autopsy report is final.

County children’s services workers also responded, removing the victim’s siblings – a brother and sister, both older – from the home, Sexton said.