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Monday, August 24, 2009

Former Nebraska running back convicted of murder

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— Former Nebraska running back Thunder Collins was convicted Monday of first-degree murder and other charges stemming from a September 2008 shooting in Omaha that left one man dead and another seriously wounded.

The Douglas County jury also found the former Cornhuskers player guilty of attempted second-degree murder and two weapons counts. He faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison for the first-degree murder conviction.

As Collins left the courtroom, he yelled at the jury of six men and six women, "Are you happy? Are you happy? You know I didn't kill anyone!"

Collins was arrested last September shortly after two California men were shot in Omaha. One man was seriously wounded, and 38-year-old Timothy Thomas was killed.

Prosecutors said the shooting stemmed from a botched drug deal in which Collins masterminded a plan to rob the men.

Collins' attorney argued that prosecution witnesses were lying.

Collins played for the Cornhuskers from 2000-02. He quit the team after being suspended four games for an undisclosed NCAA rules violation, and he has had a string of run-ins with the law since.

Originally from Los Angeles, Collins was a junior college All-American in 1998 who was touted by recruiting analysts as the next in a long line of great Nebraska running backs.

But Collins never lived up to his hype. His best season was in 2001, when he played in 12 games, ran for 647 yards and five touchdowns and caught 19 passes for 189 yards.

A brief stint in the CFL followed Collins' days with the Cornhuskers.

Sentencing is set for Nov. 12.

Comments

Marcia Parsons 10 years, 5 months ago

He played for a Big 12 team, and a team that KU plays every year. Maybe only you aren't interested.

Michael Auchard 10 years, 5 months ago

It's KU news because Nebraska is most likely our only true rival this year in the North. A bit far-fetched, but that's the best I can do.

Yeah, and oldalum's point about us being in the same division of the same conference.

KGphoto 10 years, 5 months ago

Oh yeah. Screaming at the jury as you leave the courtroom just bleeds innocence.

I like most of the people I know from Nebraska. I even have family there. But damn it if their athletic footprint isn't in shackles.

They also released Castille from their team recently. He was their only other returning RB. Anybody know if he was stealing kid's candy, or tripping elderly alumni?

Prediction: We are talking about Cookie "Monster" Miller next. He's striving for it.

Jason Roberts 10 years, 5 months ago

Note to Nebraska football program - might be a good idea to shy away from recruiting running backs from California (Thunder Collins, Lawrence Phillips)

gardenjay 10 years, 5 months ago

News Flash: Nebraska running back also convicted by LJW!

I found this interesting study entitled "Self-reported Hostile Aggression in Contact Athletes, No Contact Athletes and Non-athletes" by Patrice Lemieux, Stuart J. McKelvie and Dale Stout, Department of Psychology, Bishop's University.

They basically blame the media for a false image of athletes, which btw, has an effect on juries.

These researchers did not find a significant correlation between on- and off-the-field aggression, except for the fact that more capable aggressors (bigger people) tend to have more off-field aggression. Still, that really is not football's issue. They also state that the media controls our image of athletes as drunken sailors basically - take note LJW - which I complained about per Aqib Talib's latest troubles. Here is their conclusion:

"Scores on the aggression questionnaire (reflecting general levels of aggressive behavior and feelings), reported incidents of actual fighting, and reported frequency of alcohol involvement in fighting, were all higher contact than for no contact athletes. However, these differences also occurred with matched control groups of non-athletes, indicating that they were a function of physical stature rather than type of sport Overall, there was no support for the learning or catharsis theories of aggression in sport, although they are consistent with the idea that size is a factor in the selection of contact athletes. Together with the fact that alcohol was stated to be a factor in fighting less often for athletes than for non-athletes, the results undermine the media image of the aggressive, drunken athlete, at least for university students.

Future research should obtain systematic information about off-field aggression in athletes at various levels of expertise in various events, perhaps comparing team vs. individual as well as contact vs. no contact sports. Because the media has profiled cases of aggression in professional athletes, this group is of particular interest. Given that the present matching technique was successful in revealing the relationship between size and aggression, it should be employed to control for physical variables and others such as social background and level of education."

Wouldn't it be a shame if this man didn't murder someone, and that the jury was just influenced by the media perception of athletes? It's hard work to be responsible in our media review, much easier to be an ignorant crowd at every news hanging.

gardenjay 10 years, 5 months ago

Actually, this particular guy does look like he had some problems. But anyway, perhaps to make a fair society these things should be handled differently in the media.

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