Collins Sentenced on Lesser Charge

POSTED: Wednesday, April 22, 2009 - 6:24pm

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

One of two suspects in the 2007 4th of July shootings was convicted today. Devin Collins was found guilty of aggravated battery, not attempted second degree murder. This was indeed a hard case for presiding Judge Chip Moore. He doesn’t believe Collins is to blame for permanently injuring two innocent bystanders, but he does feel Collins played a major role in the shooting.

Though there was little evidence in the case, Judge Moore convicted 20-year-old Devin Collins of aggravated battery for his involvement in a shooting after a fireworks display on the levee two years ago. East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore described the ruling as a bitter sweet victory. “Never happy when some tragedy like this occurs, but we are satisfied that the judge made the right decision.”

Family members of the two victims spoke after the trial, saying Collins showed no remorse for his actions even if he never intended to hurt anyone. Mike Blunschi, the victim’s father, says, “Just don’t bring a gun when you fire the bullet you don’t know where it’s going; in this case they fired and had total disregard and now look what’s happened.” Glenda Blunschi is the mother of 22-year-old Robert Blunschi, who barely survived a gunshot wound to the head. She says she’s pleased, but the verdict won’t change what happened to her son. “We’d just really like for everything to be over and we really want to concentrate on getting our son well.”

Collins dodged two counts of attempted second degree murder which can carry up to 100 years in prison and the judge threw out the conspiracy charges against him. He now faces up to 20 years in prison. Collins will be sentenced in July while Marvin Brown, the other suspect in this case, still awaits trial.