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Accused murderer set to face county grand jury

The state’s murder case against Dereck Collins will face the Lawrence County Grand Jury next month.

Thursday, September 27, 2001

The state’s murder case against Dereck Collins will face the Lawrence County Grand Jury next month.

Collins, 22, of Township Road 1067, Burlington, was charged with murder Sept. 13 in connection to the death of 3-year-old Brooklyn Hope Peters.

During last week’s Lawrence County Municipal Court hearing, Judge Donald Capper found probable cause that Collins’s case, a felony, should go before the grand jury. Collins’s bond remained at $250,000.

Chuck Cooper of the Lawrence County Prosecutor J.B. Collier Jr.’s office presented witnesses at the hearing. Common Pleas Court judges had appointed Philip Heald to represent Collins as defense attorney.

The prosecutor’s office, which organizes grand jury sessions, said jurors could meet as early as mid-October.

An indictment, merely a formal charge, would put the case in Common Pleas Court.

Meanwhile, Collins remains in the Lawrence County Jail.

Court and sheriff’s department records show Collins was arrested early Sept. 13 on charges of murder and child endangering. The night before, he had flagged down a deputy at a Burlington gas station, saying Brooklyn – the daughter of his girlfriend, Tisha McCoy – was having trouble breathing. The deputy and EMS tried to revive the child, but she was pronounced dead at a West Virginia hospital.

Some officers went to the hospital, while others traveled to the residence, reports stated.

Officers felt there was obvious signs of injury to the girl, especially facial injuries, that prompted charges, reports stated.

Final autopsy results are still pending. The sheriff’s department’s investigation remains open.