APPEAL FROM THE COLUMBIA COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. NO. CR-2010-191-5. HONORABLE LARRY CHANDLER, JUDGE.
James B. Bennett, for appellant.
Dustin McDaniel, Att'y Gen., by: Christian Harris, Ass't Att'y Gen., for appellee.
ROBERT J. GLADWIN, Chief Judge. PITTMAN and WYNNE, JJ., agree.
ROBERT J. GLADWIN, Chief Judge
Khalin Collins was convicted in the Columbia County Circuit Court of three counts of arson and one count each of commercial burglary and theft of property over $2500. On appeal, Collins challenges the sufficiency of evidence corroborating the accomplice testimony as to all
charges. We affirm on all counts except the conviction related to the Summit Bank arson, which we reverse.
Collins was charged by criminal information with committing arson as an accomplice on July 20, 2009, at Summit Bank, and committing two counts of arson as an accomplice at Walgreens and People's Bank, commercial burglary, and theft of property over $2500 at Prince's Pharmacy on July 30, 2009. At trial, officer John Ferguson testified that he was called to Walgreens on July 30, 2009, where a fire had been deliberately set. A burglary had also been reported at Steve's Marine, where the front-door glass had been broken by a piece of concrete found lying inside the door. Officer Jeremy Criss also responded to the fire that night and saw fire on the glass of the drive-through pharmacy at Walgreens. The fire was contained to the outside of the store. He found glass on the ground that did not match the store's glass and observed a cloth and the smell of gasoline.
Laci Collier testified that she was a friend of Collins's and had been to his house. She said that she had seen Keon Henry, Booney, Deezy, and Gary Ellis at Collins's house during the summer and fall of 2009. She said that sometime between May and September 2004 she, Collins, and Deezy drove to Florida in her car to move Collins's belongings.
Lindsey Cook testified that she was Ellis's girlfriend and knew Collins, Booney, and Henry, but did not know Deezy well. She said that at one time Ellis lived with Collins. She stated that on July 30, 2009, she stayed the night at Collins's place and that Collins's girlfriend stayed too. She said that Ellis borrowed her car that night. She further said that, prior to that night, she overheard Collins, Henry, and others talk about breaking into a pharmacy. She was not awake when they left the house, and when she woke up the next morning, there were some guys asleep on the couch and there were black trash bags all over the floor. Some of the bags had " stuff" in them, but she did not know what. On cross-examination, she admitted that she did not know if Ellis borrowed her car that night because she was asleep. On redirect, she said that Ellis had a deep cut on his arm on the same day that she read in the newspaper " about what happened in town."
Officer Todd Dew explained that Derek Walters contacted him with information regarding Collins, so he drove to Florida to interview Walters and his common-law wife, Stephanie Thompson. Walters testified at trial that he met Collins a few years ago and their relationship was that " we would do small personal business, favors." Through Collins, Walters met Booney. Walters claimed that Collins accused Booney of stealing pills from him, so Walters beat Booney up. Walters said that he and Collins got " crossways" over Collins's truck. Collins had parked his Yukon in front of Walters's house, and Walters asked for payment in exchange for allowing the truck to remain, and Collins eventually offered him steroids for payment. When Collins later went to jail, Walters got rid of the truck and was arrested and charged for doing so. Walters said that
the case regarding the truck was still pending.
Walters testified that he told Officer Dew that ...