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story.lead_photo.caption Homicide detectives respond after three people were found dead at a Little Rock apartment Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. - Photo by Ryan Tarinelli

A suspect in the killings of a 24-year-old woman and her two children in Little Rock appeared before a federal magistrate judge Tuesday in Colorado.

Michael Ivory Collins was identified last week as the second suspect in the killings of Mariah Cunningham and her children, 5-year-old Alayah Fisher and 3-year-old Elijah Fisher. All three were found dead on Dec. 5 inside their apartment in southwest Little Rock.

Last week, Little Rock police arrested Collins' brother, William Alexander, 21, in the killings and charged him with three counts of capital murder. Police on Friday identified the relationship between Alexander and Collins and reported that Collins knew Cunningham.

A review of federal court records show Collins, 25, was on federal supervised release when the killings occurred. He also has a history of mental-health issues, including a previous diagnosis for bipolar disorder, according to the court documents.

[INTERACTIVE MAP: Search all killings in Little Rock, North Little Rock in 2017]

Collins, who is in federal custody in Colorado, made an appearance before a federal magistrate judge Tuesday afternoon, said Jeff Dorschner, spokesman for the U.S. attorney in Denver.

Collins has waived his right to a preliminary hearing, where the government would have had to prove there's probable cause that he violated his supervised release, according to Dorschner.

Little Rock police say they have obtained three capital-murder warrants for Collins, but those have not yet been served because authorities have to bring him back to Arkansas. Dorschner said it's too early in the process to say when Collins will be extradited to Arkansas.

Speaking at a news conference Friday, Little Rock police Capt. Russell King said Collins was developed as a potential suspect in the triple homicide and was arrested in Chicago on Dec. 8, days after the bodies were found. Collins was arrested on "federal probation violation warrants," he said.

Court records show Collins' arrest warrant, which came out of a federal court in Denver, accused him of violating his supervised release and said he failed to participate in substance-abuse or mental-health treatment as directed by a probation officer.

Many key details about the Little Rock case remain unknown to the public, including how the victims were killed and what led police to identify Alexander and Collins as suspects.

In 2014, Collins was sentenced to more than three years in federal prison and three years of supervised release after he plead guilty to a federal firearms offense in Colorado, according to court documents.

Months into his supervised release, a probation officer accused Collins of violating terms and conditions, and a federal court issued a warrant for his arrest in July, according to court documents. In particular, the documents show Collins was accused of missing two therapy appointments, among other violations.

"The defendant has a history of mental health issues, including a prior diagnosis for Bipolar Disorder, and he has expressed resistance to attending treatment to address his mental health issues," according to a petition that outlined the alleged violations.

The document also accused Collins of violating the supervised release by not telling a probation officer that he was questioned by police from Greenwood Village, a small city outside Denver.

In June, a federal probation officer found out Collins was a suspect in a "reported menacing with a firearm" incident, according to the petition. A commander with the Greenwood Village Police Department had contacted Collins over the phone to question him and set up a meeting for further questioning.

But Collins hung up on the commander about five minutes into the conversation, and he could not be reached on the phone again, according to the petition. The documents did not include the specifics of the incident in Greenwood Village.

In February 2014, Collins pleaded guilty to felon in possession of firearm and ammunition in Colorado.

The federal firearm offense stemmed from an October 2013 incident in which Collins fled on a bicycle from Denver police officers after authorities saw him pass through a red light without stopping, according to a plea agreement.

Police eventually took him into custody, and witnesses reported Collins had thrown his backpack over a schoolyard fence. Police found the backpack and inside was a pistol with an "obliterated serial number," according to the court documents.

The plea agreement said Collins had previously been convicted in the second-degree burglary of a building and that he "knowingly possessed the [pistol] after obtaining a felony conviction."


More headlines

Metro on 01/17/2018

Print Headline: 2nd suspect in 3 slayings goes to court; Man wanted in Little Rock deaths makes Colorado appearance

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  • Razrbak
    January 17, 2018 at 8:51 a.m.

    If you had been at the funeral, as I was, you might have heard a funeral home employee tell a certain prominent activist how they were killed. It was not by gun and it was gruesome.