Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

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April 3, 2013

Trial: Father takes stand in own defense


“According to you, we’ve made a mistake,” Burns said when it was his turn to question Collins.

“Partially, yes,” Collins replied.

“So, we’re wrong?” Burns asked.

“Nobody’s wrong,” Collins said, adding, “It’s my fault because I was ignorant.”

“The story is you just thought he was being cared for because you weren’t there?” Burns asked Collins.

“Yes sir,” he replied.

Collins had previously told jurors that he and his wife took their son to a local doctor’s office in July, but left when told the doctor had no immediate openings. When Burns asked him why he didn’t then take his son to the emergency room across the street – indicating Palo Pinto General Hospital – Collins said, “It didn’t cross my mind.”

Burns asked when he laid in front of Collins photos of his infant son from July, “Did you look at him on July 17?”

“Yes,” Collins replied.

“Where’s the meat on his bones?” Burns asked.

“There is no question your son sustained injury,” he said to the defendant.

Collins replied, “He was close to death, that’s what they tell me.”

Burns showed jurors a report from doctors who treated the child at Cook Children’s Hospital. The report attributed the infant’s condition to “nutritional deprivation.”

“Doctors said he had a 27 blood sugar level and was at substantial risk of going into seizures and dying.” Burns said to Collins. “You want us to believe, ‘I didn’t know that’?”

Burns concluded his cross examination by asking Collins to read from a sworn testimony, which the district attorney said Collins and his wife signed before former District Judge Jerry Ray last fall.

Collins read from the 2012 document, “We understand we are guilty of medical neglect.”

“I guess that says it all, Willie,” Burns said before passing on Collins as a witness.

Closing arguments will continue this morning, before the jury deliberates on the injury to a child case.  

A second trial against Amanda Rena Winters-Collins, the child’s mother, will begin after this trial concludes.

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