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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Kentucky

Friday, February 28, 2014

Greenup County, Kentucky, Teen Sentenced To 24 Months For Threatening To Kill A Federal Judge And A Federal Prosecutor

LONDON, Ky. – A Greenup County, Kentucky, teenager was sentenced to 24 months in prison, after he pleaded guilty this week, in U.S. District Court, to threatening to kill a federal judge and a federal prosecutor, announced David J. Hale, United States Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky.

Michael A. Collins, age 19, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove following a change of plea hearing held yesterday in London, Kentucky, during which Collins pleaded guilty to two of three charges in a federal indictment. As part of the plea agreement, the United States agreed to dismiss count three at sentencing.

Specifically, Collins admitted that on December 10, 2012, while a student at the Appalachian Challenge Academy, located in Harlan, Kentucky, he told a residential counselor that upon graduation he would purchase a gun and kill everyone involved in the prosecution and imprisonment of his father, John Collins. The defendant’s father is currently serving an eleven year prison sentence after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography.

Further, Collins admitted to planning the attacks including the number of weapons and amount of ammunition he would need. A mental evaluation of Collins at the Appalachian Regional Healthcare facility found that the defendant represented a significant risk or harm to others.

The defendant’s father, John Collins was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Kentucky in 2011. Yesterday, Collins admitted in court that he threatened to kill Assistant United States Attorney Jason Denny and U.S. District Judge David Bunning in retaliation of their performance while in their official capacity.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney A. Spencer McKiness and was investigated by the United States Marshals Service.

Updated December 15, 2014