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Collins: 15 years in prison

Published Mar. 28, 2001|Updated Sep. 9, 2005

Former Miami Dolphins running back Cecil Collins was sentenced Tuesday to 15 years in prison, less than two hours after a jury convicted him of sneaking through a neighbor's window to watch her sleep.

The sentence, for felony burglary, was the maximum under Florida law. Circuit Judge Joyce Julin told Collins he got the maximum because of his earlier conviction in Louisiana for a similar offense.

Collins closed his eyes as the sentence was read, then stared at his lap until courtroom deputies came over, handcuffed him and took him to a side table for fingerprinting.

Collins was arrested in December 1999 on charges he broke into an apartment where Tina Nolte and her husband, Ron, were sleeping. They awoke to see him and recognized him as their neighbor.

When arrested, Collins told police he only wanted to watch Tina as she slept.

Defense attorney Sebastian Cotrone tried to convince the jury in closing arguments Tuesday that Collins and Nolte were lovers and that Nolte lied about it to save her marriage.

Collins, 24, has served the past 15 months in jail because the arrest violated his Louisiana probation on the similar conviction. The Dolphins released him two months after the arrest.

He faces return to Louisiana for his probation violation.

BILLS: Ex-coach Wade Phillips is preparing an appeal to the NFL after the club refused to pay what's left on the final year of his contract.

CHARGERS: Michael Vick, expected to be the first choice in next month's draft, will have a private workout Friday for San Diego, which holds that pick.

BENGALS: Linebacker Takeo Spikes will have arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder but should be ready for training camp in July.

BRONCOS: Chester McGlockton, a top defensive tackle released by the Chiefs in a salary-cut move, is expected to sign a four-year contract with Denver. McGlockton's agent, Marvin Demoff, said he anticipated an agreement this week. The Broncos also are negotiating with tackle Todd Steussie.

COWBOYS: Free agent Tony Banks, who began last season as the Ravens' starting quarterback, agreed to a one-year deal with Dallas. He will earn a base salary of about $500,000.

JETS: The Newark Star Ledger reports that 14 months after announcing his intention to move the club to a proposed stadium on the West Side of Manhattan, owner Robert Johnson and top team officials have entered discussions with the leaders of the Meadowlands about keeping the team in New Jersey.

RAIDERS: An attorney for the club is complaining that his inability to call owners to testify is hurting the team's lawsuit against the league over ownership of the Los Angeles market. The Raiders demanded to question five owners, but the NFL refused to produce the witnesses, attorney Joe Alioto said Tuesday before testimony resumed. The men cannot be compelled to testify because they are outside the state, even though the owners meetings are under way in Palm Desert, Calif.

SAINTS: Quarterback Jeff Blake has almost recovered from breaking three bones in his right foot last season.

SEAHAWKS: Jerry Rice, who is leaving the 49ers for salary cap reasons, met with Seattle.

VIKINGS: Defensive linemen Lance Johnstone and Fernando Smith agreed to contracts. Johnstone, who has spent his five-year career with Oakland, led the Raiders in sacks in 1998-99.

Arena Football

LATE MONDAY: Backup quarterback Shane Stafford threw three touchdown passes and ran for a touchdown in the second half as the Storm beat Buffalo 49-27 in an Arena League exhibition.

Stafford was 11-of-15 for 114 yards. He led the Storm to 35 second-half points. His favorite target was Gunnard Twyner, who caught two scoring passes.

Starting quarterback John Kaleo finished 11-of-22 for 108 yards.

GARY ANDERSON, COACH: Gary Anderson, a former running back in the NFL and USFL, was hired to coach the Arkansas Twisters in Arena Football 2. Anderson, 39, coached running backs and special teams under John Jenkins, who was fired Friday. Anderson played with the USFL's Tampa Bay Bandits from 1983-85 and with the Bucs from 1990-93.

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