Pierre Collins makes first court appearance in death of his son


Pierre Collins made his first appearance in Hennepin County court Wednesday afternoon, one day after being charged with second-degree murder in the death of his 10-year-old son, Barway Collins.

The hearing for Pierre Collins, 33, of Crystal, was brief, according to the Star Tribune. The only time he spoke was when asked to state his name, address and date of birth.

A public defender was assigned to represent him, and his bail was continued at $2 million, KARE 11 reports.

Barway Collins was last seen after school on March 18, and his body was found in the Mississippi River in Brooklyn Center on Saturday.

Officials believe Collins took Barway to the river and dumped his body into a storm water cistern, where it remained underwater for 24 days before it somehow moved into the river and was discovered by a group of Boy Scouts Saturday afternoon.

Police used video and cell phone evidence to track Collins to that spot along the river on the day Barway went missing.

Officials have not stated a motive for the crime, but evidence shows that Pierre Collins was in financial trouble and had recently inquired about increasing the value of a life insurance policy he had purchased for Barway.

Pierre Collins has denied any involvement in Barway's death in several media interviews and to police.

Collins' wife Yamah, who is Barway's stepmother, was present at the court hearing, along with their two other children and other family members, according to the Star Tribune. They did not speak to the media.

About half a dozen people from the Liberian community were also in court, saying they are concerned about "justice for Barway," KARE 11 reports.

Pierre Collins' next court appearance is scheduled for May 14.

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said Tuesday he will ask a grand jury to up the charge against Collins to first-degree premeditated murder.

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