Caraway man in gunfight with officers charged with attempted capital murder

JONESBORO – Second Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington announced Wednesday he filed two counts of attempted capital murder charges against a Caraway man who shot at two police officers, injuring one, in January.

Eugene Collins, 49, was charged in the Eastern District of Craighead County. Collins, who is held in the Craighead County jail on a $5 million bond, also faces seven charges of aggravated assault and seven charges of terroristic threatening.

Police said Collins threatened to kill seven people inside a home on Craighead County Road 847 near Caraway on Jan. 20. When police were called, Collins fled. His vehicle became stuck in a field and Collins began firing a 12-gauge shotgun at police when they confronted him.

Pellets struck Craighead County deputy Logan Dotson in the head. Dotson returned fired and was later treated at a Jonesboro hospital. Police said Collins also fired at Caraway Police Chief Shannon Kelems and struck his police car. After a two-hour standoff, Collins surrendered. He was not injured.

Ellington said he filed the attempted capital murder charges, which are punishable by 10 to 40 years or life in prison, because of the seriousness of the act.

“We filed the most serious class of charges [against Collins] because of the senseless acts of violence against those who protect and serve our community,” he said. “The officers are lucky to be alive.” Ellington further applauded the courage of Chief Kelems and Deputy Dotson for the way they conducted themselves and performed their duties in a highly stressful situation.

Ellington said that all suspects charged with crimes are considered innocent until proven guilty by a court of law.

Collins will be arraigned in the Eastern District of Craighead County Circuit Court in Lake City on Feb. 19.

press release

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