Police want to question La'el Collins following shooting death

ByAdam Schefter via ESPN logo
Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Police are seeking to question La'el Collins following the shooting death of a pregnant woman last week, but the former LSU offensive lineman is not considered a suspect, Baton Rouge police Lt. Jonny Dunnam told ESPN.

Brittany Mills, 29, is believed by police to be a former girlfriend of Collins. Police said Collins is not believed to be a suspect in the shooting, only that they want to talk to him to see if he can provide them with information.

Collins' attorney, Jim Boren, told police his client is in Chicago getting ready for the NFL draft. But Boren told ESPN he has been in constant contact with the lead detective on the case and he spoke with the district attorney Tuesday.

"We took the investigation seriously," Boren said from his offices Tuesday. "We've tried to rule him out as a suspect. We're going to provide that information to the police, and ultimately [Collins] will sit down and talk to them. But the timing is poor."

Mills was found shot to death in her apartment Friday night by police, who rushed her to the hospital, where her infant was delivered.

Boren said he has retained the services of a private investigative firm to help him prove that Collins was not close to Mills' home when she was murdered.

"We have identified where La'el was the day the lady was murdered to establish he was nowhere around," Boren told ESPN. "We have offered to give names, witnesses who can vouch for his whereabouts that day until after the woman's body was discovered. We believe that when [police] have verified that information, that they will rule him out as a suspect in the homicide, just as I believe he should be."

Collins is projected to be a first-round pick in the draft, which begins Thursday. Sources told ESPN a handful of teams have become aware of the incident and would like to know if police determine that Collins is the father of the infant who was delivered after Mills' death. The baby still is receiving medical treatment.

Police told the Baton Rouge Advocate newspaper that investigators believe, from a preliminary investigation, that Mills opened her door to someone who wanted to use her car and was shot multiple times after she refused.

Neighbors said they heard two gunshots about 10:30 p.m. Friday. They said the door to Mills' apartment was ajar when police arrived.

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