Cecil 'The Diesel' Collins may face more jail time

Advocate staff photo by ARTHUR D. LAUCK -- Former LSU and Miami Dolphins running back Cecil Collins and his wife Elena Collins enter the 19th Judicial District Courthouse in Baton Rouge in July. Show caption
Advocate staff photo by ARTHUR D. LAUCK -- Former LSU and Miami Dolphins running back Cecil Collins and his wife Elena Collins enter the 19th Judicial District Courthouse in Baton Rouge in July.

Cecil Collins faces 5 years in ’99 case

The 13-plus years in prison that former LSU, McNeese State University and Miami Dolphins running back Cecil “The Diesel” Collins served for a 1999 burglary in Miami may not be the last of the time he spends behind bars.

The Louisiana Supreme Court cleared the way earlier this month for prosecutors to once again try to persuade a state judge to revoke Collins’ probation in a pair of 1998 Baton Rouge cases and send him back to prison for up to five years.

“We’re going to be pushing for revocation. I think the maximum (sentence) is appropriate. He violated his probation by committing another serious felony offense,” East Baton Rouge Parish Assistant District Attorney Sue Bernie said Tuesday.

“I do understand he did a lot of time in Florida, but that was for the crime he committed in Florida,” she added. “There should be some consequences for violating his probation.”

Collins, 36, was on probation in 1999 for forcing his way into the apartments of two women who lived in a Nicholson Drive complex when he sneaked into his neighbors’ apartment in Miami. He was convicted in 2001 of burglary in the Florida case and sentenced to more than 13 years in prison.

Following his arrest in Florida, Louisiana authorities issued a warrant for Collins’ arrest for violating his probation.

Collins was released from a Florida prison in May, and was immediately transferred to Baton Rouge and taken into custody for possible revocation of his probation.

District Judge Mike Caldwell released Collins on bail in July after refusing to revoke his probation. The judge stayed his ruling until the appeal is resolved.

Collins is living in Florida under a 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew. He agreed to waive his right to challenge extradition from Florida to Louisiana if East Baton Rouge Parish prosecutors won their appeal.

The state 1st Circuit Court of Appeal reversed Caldwell in September, and the state Supreme Court affirmed the reversal by denying Collins’ appeal Jan. 17.

“We need to schedule a (probation revocation) hearing,” Bernie said, adding she has spoken with Collins’ attorney, Rodney Baum, and Caldwell’s office.

Baum contends Collins has been punished significantly already.

In the Baton Rouge cases, Collins pleaded guilty in April 1999 to two felony counts of unauthorized entry of an inhabited dwelling and two misdemeanor counts of simple battery.

He was accused of fondling two women.

In those cases, Caldwell gave Collins a suspended five-year prison term and put him on probation for four years.

Just months later, in December 1999, he committed a burglary in Miami.

The 1st Circuit rejected Collins’ contention that his probation in the Baton Rouge cases was automatically completed in April 2003. The appellate court said the running of his probation ceased as soon as the state secured arrest warrants for his alleged probation violations.

Collins got married more than six years ago while imprisoned.