Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Brooksville man gets 15 years in prison in murder plea deal

BROOKSVILLE — A 29-year-old Brooksville man pleaded guilty Monday to second-degree murder in a 2008 shooting.

As part of the plea deal, Franklyn Spears of 855 Easy St. agreed to serve 15 years in prison followed by five years of probation.

Isiah Lee Collins, 29, was shot multiple times about 20 minutes after midnight May 26, 2008. He later died at Brooksville Regional Hospital. An argument over drugs or a drug debt prompted the killing, investigators say. A bag of crack cocaine was found near Collins' body.

Prosecutor Bill Catto said he would have preferred that Spears receive a longer prison term, but he called the case "extremely circumstantial." Some of the state's key witnesses were jailhouse informants to whom Spears allegedly had admitted the crime. A jury might not have viewed them as credible.

Also, a pair of former Brooksville Police Department detectives who worked on the case, Shawn Terry and Bryan Drinkard, have both faced serious allegations of misconduct since Collins' death.

Even before Collins' murder, Spears had a long criminal history.

In August 2003, a Kentucky court sentenced him to six years in prison for cocaine trafficking. A year later, federal authorities indicted him in Texas for conspiracy to distribute marijuana.

A federal judge sentenced him to two years in prison for the drug charge in July 2005.

Spears was being supervised by federal authorities at the time of the Brooksville shooting.

Collins lived a life on the streets and sold drugs, according to those who knew him. State records indicate he spent nine years behind bars on various charges dating to a 1995 arrest, a day after his 16th birthday.

Brooksville man gets 15 years in prison in murder plea deal 03/12/12 [Last modified: Monday, March 12, 2012 10:50pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Editorial: The unknown price tags in the mayor's race

    Editorials

    St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman has been busy promoting all sorts initiatives in the months leading up to the Nov. 7 election, doubling down on his progressive agenda without spending much money or generating much controversy. But make no mistake, the cost will come due after the election. Without a change in …

    The mayor is determined to get artist Janet Echelman to create a sculpture for the new Pier. But the cost would be much higher than what is allocated. Above is Echelman’s As If It Were Already Here in Boston.
  2. Massachusetts firm buys Tampa's Element apartment tower

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — Downtown Tampa's Element apartment tower sold this week to a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company that plans to upgrade the skyscraper's amenities and operate it long-term as a rental community.

    The Element apartment high-rise at 808 N Franklin St. in downtown Tampa has been sold to a Northland Investment Corp., a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company. JIM DAMASKE  |  Times
  3. Judge won't cut prison term of man who pleads obesity

    Criminal

    TAMPA — A claim of obesity won't shave time off a Tampa man's prison sentence.

    Duane Crithfield and Stephen Donaldson Sr. were sentenced to prison after marketing a fraudulent offshore tax strategy known as a "Business Protection Plan" to medical practices, offering doctors and others coverage against unlikely events such as a kidnapping.
  4. Advocates for charter, public schools argue their cases at education forum

    K12

    TAMPA — Advocates of charter schools argued for diversity in education while supporters of traditional public schools charged that state funding is stacked against them during a forum Friday titled "Choices in Education."

    Schools such as Winthrop Charter School deserve greater public support, their operators say, because they offer a choice in education that is popular among parents. Public school advocates say charter and voucher schools represent a double standard in accountability and enrollment. [WILL VRAGOVIC  |  Times]
  5. Editorial: UF shows how to preserve free speech

    Editorials

    The University of Florida was forced to navigate a treacherous terrain of constitutional concerns and public safety this week, all in a glaring public spotlight. In the end, Thursday's appearance by Richard Spencer was a success — as much as an unwelcome visit from a notorious white nationalist can be. The …