published Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

Crowbar used in slaying in Red Bank; 4 charged

Top: Red Bank Police Chief Tim Christol, right, speaks as Staff Sgt. Dan Knight listens at a Monday news conference about four arrests in a murder and robbery case that occurred late Friday or early Saturday on Redding Road in Red Bank.
Bottom left to right: Jeremy S. Reinig and Zachary Jordan Hughes, Lorenzo Marquis Bell and Markel Roshad Mitchell are led to a police car after being charged in the robbery and slaying of Jordan Collins.
Top: Red Bank Police Chief Tim Christol, right, speaks as Staff Sgt. Dan Knight listens at a Monday news conference about four arrests in a murder and robbery case that occurred late Friday or early Saturday on Redding Road in Red Bank. Bottom left to right: Jeremy S. Reinig and Zachary Jordan Hughes, Lorenzo Marquis Bell and Markel Roshad Mitchell are led to a police car after being charged in the robbery and slaying of Jordan Collins.
Photo by John Rawlston /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Jordan Collins was struck at least several times on the head and face with a crowbar by a former roommate before he died, according to authorities.

The 27-year-old's credit cards, laptop, wallet and possibly cellphone were taken from inside the small frame house his parents owned on a quiet Red Bank street.

Collins was left unconscious after the first blow, and after the beating his attackers went to a Kangaroo gas station and Walmart on Signal Mountain Road where they purchased a video game, cartons of cigarettes and clothing, Red Bank Police Staff Sgt. Dan Knight said. The purchases are what led investigators to arrest four men in connection with Collins' slaying after police viewed surveillance footage at the stores.

Collins' homicide is the second this year and the third homicide in 10 years in Red Bank, according to authorities.

Four people have been charged in connection to Collins' death, including Collins' former roommate, 19-year-old Zachary Jordan Hughes. Sixteen-year-old Markel Mitchell and 27-year-old Jeremy Reinig also were charged. All three face charges of criminal homicide and especially aggravated burglary. Mitchell, Hughes and 19-year-old Lorenzo Bell face charges of fraudulent use of a credit card after using Collins' cards, according to authorities. Bell has a $5,000 bond while the others are being held without bond, according to Hamilton County Jail records.

  • photo
    Three teenagers and one 27-year-old man have been charged in connection with the fatal beating of 27-year-old Jordan Collins over the weekend.
  • photo
    The resident of this house on Redding Road in Red Bank, Jordan Collins, was found dead Saturday morning and Red Bank police believe the death is connected to a robbery.
    Photo by Jenna Walker.
    enlarge photo

"No, man. I didn't do anything," Mitchell said as he was led out in handcuffs Monday afternoon after appearing in front of Red Bank Judge Johnny Houston. Houston gave the four a week to secure legal counsel before appearing in court again Monday.

Two of the defendants, including Mitchell, told Judge Houston they were unable to make phone calls from the jail.

Investigators estimate Collins was killed between 11 p.m. Friday and 3 a.m. Saturday.

"This senseless act of violence does not appear to be a random act," Red Bank Police Chief Tim Christol said.

It's unclear why Collins was targeted.

"[Hughes] had lived there. He probably knew what he had," Knight said.

Kevin Wilkes, a friend of Collins', spoke on behalf of the Collins family. The family has asked for privacy at this time, according to a statement. Collins' father discovered his son's body Saturday.

"This has been and will continue to be a very difficult time for everyone who cared for Jordan, especially his parents and grandparents," Wilkes said. "Jordan was a loving son and grandson and will be missed by all those who knew him. It is difficult to try and understand why something so senseless like this has to happen but the family will continue to place their faith in God and to lean on him for peace and comfort."

Hughes' record includes numerous theft convictions. He was arrested while doing community service at a recycling center Saturday, Knight said.

Reinig, who is from Oklahoma, has no previous record in Tennessee. He was arrested after he was found asleep on the floor at a friend's house, Knight said.

Mitchell has a pending aggravated robbery charge from March, according to Hamilton County court records. Bell has a conviction dating back to last year when Chattanooga police charged him with evading arrest. He received a suspended sentence of 11 months and 29 days, according to records.

Mitchell and Bell were taken into custody at Bell's residence Saturday.

Contact staff writer Beth Burger at bburger@timesfree press.com or 423-757-6406.

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sage1 said...

"Hughes' record includes numerous theft convictions."

"Mitchell has a pending aggravated robbery charge from March"

"Bell has a conviction dating back to last year when Chattanooga police charged him with evading arrest. He received a suspended sentence of 11 months and 29 days, according to records."

The people that decided to let these vermin out of jail are just as guilty as if they had bought them the crowbar and drove them to the crime location.

September 27, 2011 at 1:14 a.m.
amnestiUSAF84 said...

sage1, you can't blame the courts for following the rules. There's no way to predict if an individual is going to take advantage of their second or even third chances. The same everyone is shocked when that seemingly quiet mannered choir boy or choir girl type from a seemingly upstanding family might go beserk and murder their entire family.

September 27, 2011 at 2 a.m.
sage1 said...

Second or third chances? LOL. That's a sad statement, but comincal just the same. There should be only one chance. After that, if you do the crime you should do ALL OF THE TIME~!

September 27, 2011 at 3:03 a.m.
purplelaw said...

Just remember that these people are to be considered innocent until proven guilty. This is our system of justice no matter the allegations that are made. Each is entitled to this presumption and a criminal defense.

September 27, 2011 at 7:01 a.m.
heartbroken said...

purplelaw - defense attorney (or wannabe), right? You're taught not to ask the criminal whether or not they committed the crime, right? You'd attempt to have past arrests/convictions, no matter how numerous, not admitted in court, right? Just collect your pay, right? Were the victim your relative/friend, I'd like to see you walk the talk. Have you considered the fact, that the victim's family's and friends' tax dollars will pay for the upkeep of these criminals??????????????? However, you managed to say it all, "This is our system of justice no matter the allegations that are made." The so-called "system" is exactly the problem in our country and why so many innocent people are in the cemetery!

September 27, 2011 at 8:11 a.m.
Leaf said...

Obviously no system is perfect. However, most people prefer having laws, courts and trials, over anarchy and summary execution on the street as heartbroken seems to suggest.

September 27, 2011 at 8:33 a.m.
heartbroken said...

I did not suggest that at all. The system needs a major overhaul and you should not apply your assumptions to other people's thoughts.

September 27, 2011 at 8:39 a.m.
Oz said...

If convicted? All 4 should get the death penalty but I'm sure they will be back on the streets in time at all. This is just the beginning for these career criminals.

September 27, 2011 at 8:58 a.m.
fedup350 said...

And here again we have the excuse maker amnesriusaf84 making things up on his post to fit his twisted and perverted view of the world. For example, in his liberal brain he says you can't really blame these killers if they commit crimes over and over again because somewhere in the world someone with no criminal record goes off and commits a crime. That only makes sense to an idiot. Why don't you just make up your own facts of the case like you usually do amnesti and then act like you know it all when someone calls you on your stupidity.

September 27, 2011 at 10:05 a.m.
ChattanoogaVol said...

More fine upstanding citizens in the community. Trash. Pure trash these people.

September 27, 2011 at 10:15 a.m.
needstobesaid said...

I live about 50 yards from this young man and I can vouche for the company he kept and ChattanoogaVol is right. Trash. Pure trash much like my immediate neighbor, trash. Mr. Collins in no way deserved his fate. He did deserve a wake up call as to the company he kept however like some of his true friends standing up and saying something pertaining to hanging out with these people. There was constantly loud, explicit music coming from the residence as well as what sounded like fighting. Having that environment in your own home? There was something tragic bound to happen sooner or later. Please don't misinterpret my blountness as acceptance and/or approval because it is certainly not that. I also agree with Sage1 in the fact that the RBPD is...well, pretty inept at their jobs. As stated above I have some typical white trash neighbors and the "gentleman" has be seen to to beat his wife to a pulp in the yard and his girlfriend has gone to work with black eyes and a tooth missing, well the cops were called and you guessed it, nothing...oh and if you're wondering, he still lives there. Typical white trash. You stay classy, Redding Rd.

September 27, 2011 at 12:06 p.m.
DarkSky said...

If they are guilty, did they want to go to prison? That's how stupid they seem to be. Beat him to death, take his credit cards and use the cards in the same neighborhood at places known to have security cameras. That's really, really, really dumb. And what is criminal homicide? IMO there should be only 2 types of murder charge.... Murder with intent (life imprisonment, no parole) and murder without intent (50 years, maybe parole).

September 27, 2011 at 12:21 p.m.
rolando said...

I am amazed at how little some folks know of our laws and how they work.

First, anyone who commits a crime is given a chance to post bond, set by a judge, that gives him his freedom. The judge can refuse bond for a variety of reasons; probability of fleeing, heinous crime, murder, etc.

Second, everyone is entitled to a legal defense in criminal court -- an attorney will be provided if he cannot afford one.

Third, everyone arrested or charged with a crime must be considered innocent until convicted in a court of law. Let me repeat...everyone, regardless of the crime. [No, I am not an attorney; I am a retired federal agent who highly respects the "law of the land". I have investigated and testified against any number of miscreants. Even Charles Manson and his "Family"[google it] deserved their day in court.]

September 27, 2011 at 2 p.m.
rolando said...

DarkSky said, ...only 2 types of murder charge.... Murder with intent...and murder without intent.

So you would consider the killing of someone, with absolutely no intent to harm, as Murder Two, huh?

Sure hope you don't have a car accident with the other driver at fault. Or maybe hit some kid who ran out in front of your car without warning.

You would be looking at 50 years minimum under your rules...or does your rule only apply to others?

September 27, 2011 at 2:07 p.m.
twharr said...

You beat someone to death that you know with a crowbar and steal his credit card then go and charge it up at places that have cameras. Wow!! It's amazing what idiots we live around. Also, why does the youngest one have a cup of Pepsi?? I don't think that's right.

September 27, 2011 at 2:32 p.m.
dao1980 said...

needstobesaid, you're right, it's tough to live next to or around folks that conduct themselves as feral trash.

But as one who has enjoyed a party or two in the past, I can't say that loud music and drinking constitute "trash".

And on a lighter note, I may have misinterpreted your blount-ness... but I thought I smelled flavored tobacco and cheap weed...

September 27, 2011 at 2:37 p.m.
needstobesaid said...

dao1980, I agree completely about the loud music and I never mentioned drinking (I enjoy a good adult beverage on occasion myself), I said fighting. The two most certainly do no have to go hand in hand. LOL I do indeed smoke menthol cigs but I assure you my weed is at worst mid grade...well, ok, it's sometimes cheap but I can't be too picky in these times. Seriously, have you seen this things that are accused of doing this crime? C'mon, I wouldn't want them asking me "would you like fries with that" much less sharing an enclosed area with me. I know shouldn't judge on appearance but let's be real here, it's clear that they've thrown in the towel as far as taking care of themselves and how they are percieved on a first impression basis so it was only a matter of time before they did something terrible like this...their priors also should tell us that.

September 27, 2011 at 3:23 p.m.
brokentoe said...

Leaf said... Obviously no system is perfect. However, most people prefer having laws, courts and trials, over anarchy and summary execution on the street as heartbroken seems to suggest

heartbroken said... I did not suggest that at all.

You may not have knowingly suggested it, hearbroken, but what LEAF said is where America would regress back to. In fact, it wasn't all that long ago, 20TH Century America, where such anarchy and summary executions took place on the streets in many American cities.

Although they sometimes do, the courts can't afford to make decisions based on emotions rather than the laws in place. If and when they do, they contribute to that slippery slope regressing backwareds to a place and time where there was indeed anarchy and summary executions taking placeoin the streets of America.

Suggestion: Read a few eyewitness descriptions of the many deadly and brutal race riots that broke out in early to mid century America and in such places as Atlanta, Oklahoma,Detroit, Chattanooga{though well hidden in the bowels of history}, New York. To name a few.

September 27, 2011 at 4 p.m.
DarkSky said...

Accidents happen Rolando. If investigated and no fault is found then no murder. BTW, I'm a safe driver and have called police numerous times to report erractic drivers I thought could be drunk/impaired/health problems. And if I have an accident and the other driver is at fault (as you said) then... huh? I don't understand how that would apply to murder charge against me. If the driver was drunk, then yes, that's what it should be. And you (as a retired federal agent) should know not all rules apply to everyone (on paper sure, but reallity is different). It would be a great day if they did. My thoughts on "without intent" are such as drunk driving, ignoring safety regulations, etc. when someones dies from it. It just burns me up when someone with a weapon murders then pleas out to a lesser charge. My opinion of "with intent" that if you commit a crime when you have brought a weapon and then kill someone, you should never, ever get out of prison. But I don't know if in this case if the accused brought weapons. Everyone should be held accountable for their actions. I follow the rules set by this society we live in and accept the consequences of my actions.

September 27, 2011 at 7:54 p.m.
macropetala8 said...

rolando said... Third, everyone arrested or charged with a crime must be considered innocent until convicted in a court of law. Let me repeat...everyone, regardless of the crime. [No, I am not an attorney; I am a retired federal agent who highly respects the "law of the land". I have investigated and testified against any number of miscreants. Even Charles Manson and his "Family"[google it] deserved their day in court.] September 27, 2011 at 2 p.m.

rolandy, you've really impressed me with your take on this one. I've said the same over and over. Hopefully someday it will stick.

September 27, 2011 at 8:19 p.m.
awaiting1 said...

We question the "robbery gone wrong". Thieves are well accomplished even in their late teens & know there is more money in a home burglary while Collins is away. Afterall, four people were too many to split the rewards in a house this size. One to two is plenty for this mission . This crime has a personal touch of testosterone pride. Namely, there is a considerable amount of muscle power: four guys against one. This is intended to show Collins to "look how many people are on my side & you have nobody." Even though Collins was knocked unconscious very shortly on the first blow, the beating continued. This reveals repressed anger directed at Collins by the main instigator and displaced anger by the remainder of attackers. It is an overkill of a statement that somebody was communicating to Collins. It is a "murder gone wrong" & they intended to whip Collins & show "they da bomb."

September 27, 2011 at 10:39 p.m.
gloaterwhites said...

@ awaiting1 - great observation regarding these Selfish-n-Childish-Brat-Bast**ds! For those who prey on the weak, as Collins was, are definitely 'Weak'( mentally)Cowards ,themselves.

March 22, 2013 at 3:18 p.m.
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