4th of July Shooting Trial

POSTED: Monday, April 6, 2009 - 6:22pm

UPDATED: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 11:58pm

One of the men accused of firing shots two years ago at a July 4th celebration on the levee was in court today. The word “intent” is what’s going to determine the outcome of this case. There are little facts and not much evidence against 19-year-old Devin Collins, but prosecutors are determined to prove that his involvement played a major role n the July 4th shooting.

After two years of waiting, 19-year-old Devin Collins finally made his way into court. He is on trial for second degree attempted murder. Prosecutors say he fired shots after a 4th of July fireworks show on the levee back in 2007. Five witnesses were called to the stand, including the mother of 22-year-old Robert Blunschi, who was shot in the head and suffers severe brain damage. She told the judge that her son will never be the same.

18-year-old Kayla Smith also testified. She too was shot that day. “It didn’t feel good. It was something that I felt I had to do.” Smith is now paralyzed from the waist down. This was the first time she’s come face to face with Collins. In court she told the judge all she remembers was hearing three to four shots before falling to the ground, but never saw who shot her. “If you can look somebody in the eyes through something like that, it kind of brings the burden off your back.”

Later on, Prosecutor Aaron Brook stated he can’t prove Collins intended to shoot both victims. He even admitted that the bullet Collins fired from a .25 millimeter gun didn’t cause bodily harm to either victim. However, he says he does have the DNA evidence that places Collins in the middle of the fire. Defense attorneys Robert Tucker and Rodney Messina agree but to a certain extent. “We don’t think there was any intent on Dennis’ part.”

Emotions ran high as Brooks played the surveillance video from the night of the shooting. None of the witnesses were able to place Collins at the scene of the crime. Brooks hopes the testimony from the police officers will help seal the deal.

If found guilty, Collins faces 50 years in prison. Court will resume tomorrow morning.