A Florida man was sentenced Thursday for his role in a fatal Seabrook neighborhood shootout four years ago.
36-year-old Antonio Collins of Miami was sentenced to 33 years in prison after he was convicted in the 2009 shooting death of a Seabrook man, according to the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office. Collins was convicted of killing 27-year-old Ronald Coleman Jr., during a shootout outside Coleman’s home. He was also convicted of first degree burglary and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.
Prosecutors said Collins and another man went to the back of a home on Seabrook Road on June 22, 2009. A neighbor spotted them and asked what they were doing there. One of the men drew a pistol and held it to the neighbor’s head. They walked him around the house to the front door and told the neighbor to call Collins outside. However, they did not wait for Collins but instead kicked in the door a few moments later and a gun battle ensued.
Coleman was shot four times and died at the scene. During the exchange, one of the suspects was wounded. Investigators discovered bloody footprints leading from the scene to a point on Seabrook Road where they believe the suspects got into a car. The murder weapon was found nearby.
However, the killing remained unsolved until investigators eventually matched DNA in the blood with DNA collected from Collins during a separate federal drug investigation in Hampton County. Collins was incarcerated in Miami on unrelated charges at the time. He had a prior conviction for larceny.
“You can’t argue with DNA,” assistant solicitor Hunter Swanson of the Beaufort County Career Criminal Prosecution Team said in a statement. “Because of law enforcement’s dedication to conducting a thorough investigation, we were able to put a four-year-old case to rest and bring justice for everyone involved.”
Collins was extradited to South Carolina to face the charges earlier this month. He was sentenced Thursday by Judge J. Edward Kinard.