Collier rescheduled for murder, assault trial

Michael Collier

A man charged with the 2017 murder of a Laurel man and injuring two other people is set for trial on Monday.

Michael Paul Collier, 39, of 156 Morris Road in London, is charged with the Jan. 24 shooting death of Gordon Browning of East Bernstadt following an altercation between Collier and his estranged wife, Jessica. Jessica was at the home of Browning on Huff Road that night when Collier and Kathy Middleton arrived.

An argument ensued between the couple and Browning came outside his home. Collier then fired a gun, striking Browning several times as well as injuring Jessica Collier and Amy Lyons. The two women were taken to Saint Joseph London for their injuries and later flown to the University of Kentucky Medical Center.

Browning was found lying beside his truck with multiple gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Collier's trial has been postponed several times previously, originally being set for October 2018. But it was postponed due to a mental health issue, thus requiring Collier to undergo an evaluation at the Kentucky Correctional Psychiatric Center in LaGrange.

Collier was arrested and charged with murder and first-degree assault in Browning's death and the injuries to the two women. Kathy Middleton was charged with tampering with physical evidence in the incident due to moving the weapon following the incident.

Collier appeared in court on Tuesday for his final pretrial conference, at which time he could have entered into a plea agreement. A notation on the court documents states that negotiations for a plea deal would remain open until 4 p.m. Wednesday. If a plea deal is reached, Collier could sidestep the jury trial. He can, however, agree to plea to a lesser charge up until the trial date on Tuesday morning. Collier remains incarcerated at the Laurel County Correctional Center under $750,000 cash bond.

njohnson@sentinel-echo.com

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