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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]
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