Gary man gets 50 years after pleading guilty, but mentally ill in dad’s death; also charged with mom’s death in Chicago

A Gary man was sentenced to 50 years Tuesday for fatally stabbing his father and attacking his 16-year-old nephew.

Christopher Collins, 27, formerly of DeKalb, Illinois, pleaded guilty but mentally ill in June to murder and domestic battery resulting in serious bodily injury.

Authorities alleged he stabbed his dad Eddie Collins, 76, to death on June 25, 2023, inside his Gary home on the 9000 block of Oak Avenue.

What he did was “not easy to cope with,” Christopher Collins’ lawyer Sonya Scott-Dix said in court Tuesday. There was “no pride” in what happened.

Collins’ relationship with his father was “not what it used to be,” she said.

Her client “accepted responsibility” by pleading guilty.

Collins said in court he was “as sorry as I could be.”

Judge Salvador Vasquez said it was a “sad” situation.

Collins’ sister saw a decline. In retrospect, you always can go over in your mind how more “could have been done,” Vasquez said.

In court, Christopher Collins was “very mild-mannered,” the judge noted.

After the hearing, Gregory Fields, Eddie Collins’ nephew, said his uncle was a “good man” who “took care of me. He loved all of us.”

It was hard to see the signs in retrospect but, he added, he wasn’t always around his cousin.

Deputy Prosecutor Michelle Jatkiewicz handled the state’s case. Christopher Collins was originally charged with murder, attempted murder, aggravated battery, two counts of domestic battery, one count of auto theft and three other misdemeanor charges.

NIPSCO workers in the 9300 block of Oak Avenue called Gary Police when a teen boy covered in blood approached them. The boy, 16, told police his grandfather was dead and that his uncle killed him, Gary Police spokesman Sam Roberts said.

A detective who arrived at 8 a.m. on June 25, 2023, wrote the boy had blood on his head and fresh cuts on his face. His shirt was stemming some of the bleeding.

Another police officer said the home was in “disarray” with overturned furniture, broken glass, blood on floors, walls and a door frame. There was a bottle of “cleaning fluid” in the living room.

Police found Eddie Collins “unresponsive” at the top of the stairs with “multiple” lacerations on his face and neck. He appeared to have been stabbed and beaten to death, according to the affidavit.

He was pronounced dead at 8:30 a.m., according to the Lake County Coroner’s Office.

The boy said Collins broke into his grandfather’s home around 7:20 a.m., Roberts said. He was asleep upstairs when he heard the men arguing. His grandfather told the boy to call his mother.

Christopher Collins took the phone, then attacked him. Then Eddie Collins jumped on Christopher to pull him off the boy.

Indiana court records allege Christopher Collins had killed his mother and beaten his grandmother in Chicago two days before.

A witness told police Christopher Collins was “acting strange all week” and he believed his mother and grandmother “treated” another relative better than him.

Claudette Collins, 67, was found dead on June 23, 2023, inside her Chicago home on the 7300 block of South Luella Avenue, according to the affidavit and media reports. Her mother, 96, was found beaten and taken to a hospital for treatment.

The boy said he knew Collins was “on the run” from Chicago Police for the crime.

A relative found Claudette “beaten or stabbed” and told police Christopher had a “history of violent aggressive behavior” towards her and had “prior domestic disturbances” with her.

The status of the Cook County case is not immediately known.

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