DAYTON — Ahead of Wednesday’s sentencing for the three people charged in connection to the death of Takoda Collins in 2019, prosecutors described the torture and abuse Collins was subjected to, while the defense argued for a lesser sentence for Collins’ father.
The case involves the murder of 10-year-old Collins, who in December 2019 died from years of abuse, according to prosecutors.
Collins’ father, Al McLean, was convicted on charges of murder, kidnapping, rape and child endangering earlier this month when he took a plea deal.
McLean’s plea came hours after his fiancée Amanda Hinze also pleaded guilty to charges of manslaughter and child endangering.
Hinze’s sister, Jennifer Ebert, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and other charges on May 27, 2020.
On Dec. 13, 2019, medics were called to McLean’s Kensington Street home after Collins was reported to be unresponsive. Collins would be taken to Dayton Children’s Hospital, where he died.
For more than a year-and-a-half News Center 7 has told the tragic story of Collins’ life and death. The years of extreme abuse carried out by McLean, all while Hinze and Ebert did nothing to stop it.
The attempts by teachers and children’s services to intervene, but none prevented Collins’ murder.
Now, in 28 pages prosecutors have provided the most complete picture yet of what Collins went through ahead of sentencing, describing how the child was “battered from head to toe” when a coroner examined him. To having suffered “the type of injury typically only observed in catastrophic events such as a severe car accident.”
PREVIOUS REPORT: Grand jury indicts father of Takoda Collins on murder charges
But, prosecutors said “the only thing more horrific than the facts of Takoda’s death, were the facts of the life he was forced to live.”
McLean forced Takoda to live in a dark attic, without clothes, light, food or a bathroom. He forced him to eat his feces and for “20 hours a day” forced Collins “to pose, in bizarre and painful punishment positions” with McLean, Hinze and Ebert watching the child on video. Pointing out if he moved, at which point McLean would beat the child.
And, on the final day of Collins’ life, the child suffered “severe beatings, water torture” and a “brutal rape” with a broken chair leg.
Prosecutors said McLean “provided no mercy to his own son, and deserves none from this court.”
McLean’s defense attorney Michael Booher paints a different picture of McLean in his own court filings ahead of Wednesday’s sentencing.
“The story that Al is a monster who abused his son for years is simply false,” Booher said.
“Al, without reservation accepts that his actions resulted in the death of his son. He does not forgive himself nor point blame towards anyone else,” Booher said. “He does however express concern for narratives being offered by others either vilifying him based upon a false history or recreating their own false history of involvement with his son.”
Booher is arguing for McLean to be sentenced to 40 years to life in prison, however prosecutors are asking for 51 years to life in prison for the boy’s father.
“For all of the problems, flaws and misguided bad acts, they still were a family,” Booher said of Collins and McLean’s relationship. “This is a tragedy, not only for Takoda, but for all the members of his family, including his father.”
McLean, Hinze and Ebert are scheduled for sentencing Wednesday.
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