Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

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April 3, 2013

Trial: Father takes stand in own defense

By LIBBY CLUETT

PALO PINTO – Testimony in a criminal case involving injury to a child closed shortly before 5 p.m. Tuesday evening, after defendant Willie Lee Ray Collins, 23, took the stand.

In two separate cases this week a father and mother, Collins and Amanda Rena Winters-Collins, are being tried before separate juries for the condition of their 5-month-old infant son last summer.

Initiated by a call, Precinct 2 Constable Marc Moon visited the Collins’ Kite Road travel trailer home to check on the infant boy and his older baby sister, according to testimony. This set into motion responses, on July 17, from Children’s Protective Services and Mineral Wells Emergency Medical Services, which called for air ambulance to take the baby to Cook Children’s Hospital.

Also responding were Palo Pinto County Sheriffs’ deputies and Texas Ranger Anthony Bradford, who was in the sheriff’s office at the time and who interviewed the defendant later that day. Representatives from many of these entities, including Bradford, served as witnesses for the prosecution Tuesday.

According to the CPS witness the boy has been in foster care for the months since he was released from the hospital.

Among the trial evidence, Palo Pinto County District Attorney Mike Burns showed photographs taken of the child on July 17. The photos appeared to depict a child whose individual ribs were visible, whose abdomen was distended and whose skin seemed wrinkled at the joints and had a bluish-gray hue.

Burns also showed photographs taken of the same child in early March. According to witness for the prosecution and Victims Assistance Coordinator Adena Morris, who took the more-recent photos, the child is now “a little plump” and looks “healthy,” with “fat rolls on his arms” and “fat little legs.”

“He is a very happy boy, excited to have someone play with him,” she said.

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