Collins’ Lawyers Appealing
LANSING (AP) — Defense attorneys today were asking the Michigan Court of Appeals to overturn the conviction of 25-year-old John Norman Collins, convicted of murdering an Eastern Michigan coed in July, 1969.
Collins was convicted Aug. 19, 1970, in the slaying of Karen Sue Beineman of Grand Rapids and was sentenced to life in prison.
Defense attorney Neil Fink, of Detroit, arriving for the court hearing told newsmen his main arguments would be concerned with pre-trial publicity and alleged prejudicial identification.
Fink asserted again today that Collins, an Eastern Michigan University senior from Centerline at the time of his arrest, is innocent.
Fink said he believes a change of venue should have been ordered in the 1970 trial due to pre-trial publicity.
In addition, Fink challenged identification procedures used by witnesses against Collins. They included testimony by Joan Goshe, owner of an Ypsilanti wig shop, and Patricia Spaulding, an employe there.
The wig shop owner testified in court that she sold a wig to Miss Beineman in July 1969 and then watched as the coed got on a motorcycle with a young man. She identified the young man in court as Collins. Her employe identified the man as Collins too.
Representatives from the Washtenaw County prosecutor’s office also were to appear before the court of Appeals today in the case.