Collins is charged with fatally shooting Chelsei Embry, attempting to kill LaToya Monique Embry and shooting Kaylon and Jalysa Embry in the Westgate community in July 2006, when Collins was 15.
Defense attorneys Clarence Dortch and Nathaniel Owens argued Collins was in fear for the life of his then 16-year-old sister, Greticia “Woochie” Collins, and was acting only to defend her.
The state argued some words and possibly some dance steps had passed between Greticia Collins and Monique Embry and some others earlier the night of the shooting. Jalysa Embry also testified that Greticia Collins had been among those who jumped her several nights earlier.
In any case, a group of about 10 people, including all four victims, drove up to the apartment in Westgate where the Collinses were staying.
The defendant, by testimony, fired at least two warning shots into the air. By the account of all of the state’s witnesses, as well as at least one for the defense, Greticia Collins came off the porch. One of the girls from the two cars did a dance, to which Greticia Collins responded. There were also insults and profanities passed back and forth, by some accounts.
Kaylon Embry then hit Greticia Collins, and the two began to fight. Kendra “Precious” Garrett then allegedly struck Kaylon Embry in the head with a table leg, at which point Jalysa Embry became involved in a fight with Garrett.
Monique Embry said she heard the shots and went to check on her family members, and told the defendant to put down the gun. He then shot into the fight, wounding Jalysa Embry in the neck and Kaylon Embry in the hip.
Monique Embry was going to throw a beer bottle at Cartravious Collins, but he shot her in the arm before she could do so. The fight had broken up at this point, when Collins allegedly shot Chelsei Embry, and then shot Monique Embry in the back.
Most of the defense witnesses, including Greticia Collins and Cartravious Collins, said the former was being pummeled with beer bottles, stomped and kicked throughout the encounter by anywhere from four to 10 people.
Both told different stories, closer to those of the state witnesses, when initially interviewed by police.
In addition to the self-defense issue, the defense also presented testimony from an 11-year-old boy who said he had seen Cassandra White accidentally shoot herself in the hand and then shoot Chelsei Embry. White was initially named as the fifth victim in this case, but there was no solid evidence the wound to her hand was caused by a bullet at all.
The defense also pointed out that the state forensics lab had lost the fatal bullet.
According to Assistant District Attorney Christina Kilgore, the jury came in one time to ask Circuit Judge Bo Hollinsworth to clarify the distinction between attempted murder and assault in the first degree. He re-read the charge regarding Monique Embry.
The jury may consider the lesser included offense of manslaughter in the case involving Chelsei Embry, and assault in the first degree and assault in the second degree in the case involving Monique Embry.