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Charges against football coach Theodore, relative in the hands of city judge | Alabama Mobile County News


BAYOU LA BATRE, Ala. (WALA) – Misdemeanor assault crime against Theodore High School Soccer Coach Eric Collier and three of his relatives are now in the hands of a judge.

The testimony ended on Wednesday. City Judge L. Daniel Mims said he will issue a ruling at a later date.

The charges stem from an altercation that occurred at the state pier of Bayou La Batre on May 8, hours after Collier’s 19-year-old son became involved in a scuffle on Dauphin Island.

The Bayou incident, captured on video, shows a melee between the Colliers and the men involved in the rival group. Sorting it out in court lasted several hours over two days. Mims testimonies heard for nearly two hours five weeks ago and then heard from eight other witnesses on Wednesday.

“It was the longest city court trial I’ve ever had in my life,” defense attorney Dennis Knizley said after Wednesday’s hearing.

Collier faces charges along with his brother, Shawn Jerome Collier, and adult sons Wayne Eric “EJ” Collier Jr. and Hayden Aaron Collier.

Mims opened the proceedings Wednesday by declining a plea of ​​defense to bring charges under Alabama’s “Stand Up” law.

The prosecution called the three alleged victims to the stands. They testified that men waiting on the pier jumped them, causing injuries to the face and head.

Collin Martin admitted while testifying that he swung his arm at Collier Sr. but the testimony was only after the coach grabbed him by the leg. He said he was pulled into the water when his boat pulled up to the dock.

“I was pulled off the side of the boat. … I was in the water,” he said.

Martin was both a victim and a defendant in a separate case. Prosecutors allege that he illegally opened fire during the altercation.

Knizley, who represents the coach, pressed Martin about surveillance video that appeared to show him standing behind a man named Hunter Lee Hinton on a boat. Martin says it appears that way from the camera angle but he’s actually in the foreground.

“I remember who grabbed me, and I remember who pulled me into the water,” he said.

Knizley told reporters later that the video proved Martin was not telling the truth and that it was suspicious.

“I think it’s very questionable whether any feet were ever reached, but without a doubt everyone testifies that Mr. Martin threw the first punch, and any action by Coach Collier It’s all about self-defense,” he said.

Another alleged victim, Darren Bosarge, testified that he had to have his eyebrows and eyelashes sewn up because of the beating. He testified that Hinton had someone wrapped up in him.

Hinton testified that the coach’s son, Wayne Eric “EJ” Collier Jr, boarded his boat during the confrontation. He said Shawn Collier, the coach’s brother, gave Bosarge a hard time.

The prosecution has brought forward several other witnesses who were with the alleged victims on two boats returning from Dauphin Island. They testified that they saw the Colliers attack. Owen Clark testified that the coach attacked Hinton.

“Eric Sr. was holding his head in the water,” he said.

When asked if it was a war, he replied: “It’s not really a war. It’s more like a jump.”

Quinton Zirlott testified that Bosarge was the victim.

“I saw my friend being held underwater,” he said.

But Jason Darley, the attorney representing Collier Jr., said after the trial that evidence showed his client was not the aggressor.

“Each of them testified that EJ didn’t act, never acted, until someone threw their arms around this dad,” he said. “There is testimony that his father was beaten. Some say his father was not beaten. But it is unequivocally said that EJ Collier did not act until his father was hit by a bullet. ”

Prosecutor Brent Day declined to comment. If convicted, the defendants will have the opportunity to appeal to a jury in Mobile County Court.

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