Miami man guilty of 2009 Seabrook murder
BEAUFORT – A 36-year-old Miami man was sentenced to 33 years in prison Thursday for the 2009 slaying of a Seabrook man.
At the conclusion of a four-day trial, jurors convicted Antonio Collins of murder, first-degree burglary and possession of a weapon during commission of a violent crime.
On June 22, 2009, two men approached the back of a home on Seabrook Road. A neighbor saw the men and asked what they were doing there. One of the men drew a pistol and held to his head. They walked him around the house to the front door and asked him to get the home’s occupant outside. Moments later, they kicked in the door and a gun battle ensued.
The home’s occupant, 27-year-old Ronald Coleman, Jr. was hit four times and died at the scene. During the exchange, one of the suspects was wounded. Investigators discovered bloody footprints leading from the scene to a point on Seabrook Road where they believe the suspects got into a car. They found the murder weapon nearby.
The case went cold until 2010 when information about the two suspects was cultivated during a federal drug investigation in Hampton County.
DNA was collected from Collins, who was incarcerated on unrelated charges in Miami. It matched the blood found leaving the scene and DNA found on the murder weapon. He later was extradited to South Carolina to face the charges.
“You can’t argue with DNA,” said assistant solicitor Hunter Swanson of the Beaufort County Career Criminal Prosecution Team. “Because of law enforcement’s dedication to conducting a thorough investigation, we were able to put a four-year-old case to rest and bring justice for everyone involved.”
Collins had a prior conviction for larceny.
Judge J. Ernest Kinard handed down the sentence. By law, Collins must serve every day of the sentence before being released from prison.