Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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June 22, 2013

McDowell County attempted murder suspect in custody

RODERFIELD — Multiple calls and several victims led to a two-week-long investigation that culminated with the arrest of a McDowell County man on an attempted murder charge along with 14 additional counts stemming from a June 4, incident in Big Sandy Bottom, state police said.

Halsey Collins Jr., 43, of Roderfield was arrested this week on one count of attempted murder, 3 counts of unlawful wounding, five counts of battery, 4 counts of assault, one disorderly conduct charge and one count of reckless driving — all coming as a result of a physical confrontation that escalated into the use of a vehicle to run over a victim.

According to Cpl. B.J. Garrettson of the Welch detachment of the West Virginia State Police, Collins was at the Quick Serve convenience store in Roderfield where he got a ride to Big Sandy Bottom in a pickup truck from a man that he did not know. When the two men arrived at a residence in Big Sandy, Halsey got out of the truck and initiated a discussion with Randy McNeely, Garrettson said.

The discussion rapidly turned into a fight, and when additional individuals joined McNeely, the pickup truck driver attempted to come to Collins’ aid. “Halsey (Collins) and the other guy got beat up,” Garrettson said. “They both went back to the truck, and Collins got behind the wheel while the driver got into the passenger seat. Halsey (Collins) floored the truck and ran over Randy (McNeely),” Garrettson said.

According to Garrettson, Collins attempted to turn the truck around, as three women, including one who was holding a 5-month-old infant in her arms, came up to check on McNeely’s condition. “He hit the other three females — including the one holding the 5-month-old infant — and attempted to drive away.”

Garrettson said that as the two men were driving away, the pickup driver demanded that Collins get out of the truck, which he did. “Collins walked back down to the Bottom where everyone was upset,” Garrettson said. “Four or five people jumped him, and beat him up.”

In the meantime, the pickup driver stopped at another residence in the Big Sandy-Roderfield area and asked for help. “He was bleeding so badly that the people he asked for help thought he was stabbed, and that was the first call I was responding to. After I got there, I had to prioritize my response and went on into Big Sandy Bottom.”

According to Garrettson, both McNeely was airlifted to Charleston Area Medical Center, and Collins was also transported to CAMC. “The victim, McNeely, had road rash and other injuries, but he was still alive.” Garrettson said that the other three women and the infant were also transported to a hospital.

After Collins was released from CAMC, he went to a residence in Pineville where he had been staying. That’s where he was when Garrettson caught up with him on June 19. “Everyone is now out of the hospital,” Garrettson said.

Collins was arraigned on the charges, and is being held at Southern Regional Jail in Beaver on $50,000 bail, according to Garrettson.

– Contact Bill Archer at barcher@bdtonline.com

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