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Teacher’s assistant accused of shooting ex-husband in neck

By Cleve R. Wootson Jr.
cwootson@charlotteobserver.com

When police arrived at the apartment in east Monroe around 3 a.m. Saturday, they found Jeanine Collins’ ex-husband lying on the floor, bleeding from a gunshot wound to the neck and unable to talk.

Collins told officers that he had threatened to kill himself if she left, then tried to make good on his promise.

But nearly a week later, after the man regained the ability to speak, police learned they just had one side of the story. The man told police his ex-wife had shot him.

On Friday, Collins, 43, was in Union County Jail, charged with assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury. She was being held on $50,000 bond.

Collins is a teacher’s assistant at Union Academy Charter School. Administrators at the school couldn’t be reached Friday for comment. A page on the school’s website – since taken down – said Collins “has been at Union Academy since its beginning” and has assisted in several grade levels.

“She wears many different hats at Union Academy,” the page said.

Police officers responded to the shooting call at Collins’ ex-husband’s house on East Sunset Drive on Saturday, Sgt. Mike Smith said.

Officers found the man lying on the floor, bleeding from the neck. Paramedics quickly whisked him to the hospital, leaving only Collins to tell the story of what happened.

“She said they had been divorced three years, but they had been in the process of reconciling their marriage,” Smith said. “She said that’s what she was doing there – at his request. When she got ready to leave, he didn’t want her to leave and said ‘If you leave, I’m going to kill myself.’ ”

Collins told officers she walked away and heard a gunshot, Smith said. When she came back, her ex was lying on the floor.

The gunshot wound to the neck left the man unable to speak, Smith said. And Smith said a detective who later went to visit him in the hospital said “the man was in no condition to communicate.”

That changed on Thursday, Smith said, and the man gave “an obviously different story.”

“He said there may have been some jealousy by the ex-wife because he allegedly has a girlfriend,” the sergeant said. “The ex-wife was upset about that. She was at the apartment talking with him about that … She knows where to find the gun, where to look for the gun and there was a bit of a struggle.”

Smith said after talking to the ex-husband, detectives quickly moved to arrest Collins.

They also looked into police records and found no history of domestic violence. Officers had never been called out to the ex-husband’s home because of marital problems. Collins doesn’t have a criminal record, according to a search of court records conducted by the Observer.

Police say the investigation is ongoing, and they’re asking family members, neighbors or anyone else who may have information about what happened to call 704-282-4700 to speak with an investigator.

Wootson: 704-358-5046; Twitter: @CleveWootson
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