Whitesburg KY


Grand jury will determine whether man will be tried in shooting death at Deane

Authorities have “probable cause” to continue to pursue criminal charges against a 36- year-old Deane man who shot a Thornton man to death on July 3, Letcher District Judge Jim Wood has ruled.

The ruling issued by Wood at the end of a short hearing last week means prosecutors may now seek a murder indictment against Bobby Gene Collins in the death of 37-year-old Mark “Bocky” Adams.

Wood announced his finding on July 11 after hearing testimony from Kentucky State Police Detective Randy Combs during a court procedure known as a “preliminary hearing.”

Combs told Wood and attorneys for the defense and the prosecution that the shooting took place on the front porch of the Collins home after Collins tried to break up an “argument turned into fisticuffs” between Adams and Adams’s wife, Kathy Grogan.

Combs said Collins told authorities he killed Adams with a blast from a single-shot .12- gauge shotgun after Adams “stated he was going to kill Mr. Collins” and walked onto his porch.

“By all witness accounts, Mr. Adams was unarmed” when the shooting took place, Combs said.

Combs testified that Collins told police that before he shot Adams he fired the shotgun into the air “in an attempt to break

A story in last week’s edition stated incorrectly that Mark Adams had been charged in the past with four incidents involving allegations of domestic violence against three separate women. The wrong date of birth was used while obtaining that information from court records. Mark “Bocky” Adams was never charged with domestic violence.

Ms. Grogan and Mr. Adams up.” Combs said Collins told police he fired a second and fatal shot after Adams told him, “I’m going to come up there and shove that (gun) up your ass.”

Collins said Adams made the threat just before walking up the steps to the porch and stepping across a piece of tin being used to keep cats and dogs off the porch, Combs testified.

Combs said Collins and Adams were separated by the length of a “three-person couch” that was sitting on the porch when the shooting occurred. He testified that Adams and Grogan began arguing and fighting with each other after they went to the Collins home at 335 Cherokee Drive “to drink and hang out with Mr. Collins and his father,” Maryland Collins.

There were no eyewitnesses to the shooting, Combs said. He testified that Maryland Collins “said he did not see anything,” and that another relative, Arnold Collins, was also present but “extremely intoxicated” and asleep when the shots were fired. Grogan had gone to a neighbor’s house to call police, Combs said.

It was also revealed at the hearing that deputies from the Letcher County Sheriff’s Office had been called to Cherokee Drive more than an hour before the shooting after a neighbor of Collins phoned in a report that Adams and Grogan were involved in a domestic dispute.

Combs testified that deputies arrived at the neighbor’s house at 8:36 p.m. and were told that Adams had “kicked” Grogan in the throat. Combs testified that the deputies could not find Adams, who had fled the scene. Combs said Grogan refused to be taken to the hospital for treatment and declined Deputy Bert Sloane’s offer to give her a ride to a safe place away from Adams.

Combs said Adams apparently had “been somewhere close by watching” and returned to the Collins home shortly after the deputies left. The shooting was reported at 9:52 p.m.

Combs also testified that he recovered two spent shotgun shells from the scene. Combs said he also took possession of a .410-gauge shotgun he found in the living room of the Collins home as a precautionary measure in case it had been used in the shooting. An autopsy later revealed that only the .12-gauge gun was used.

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