The Phillips & Associates Oklahoma Law Blog


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By Dustin Phillips on
December 11, 2017
December 31, 2019

A young Tulsa father is behind bars, accused of child abuse, child neglect, and first degree murder in the death of a toddler.

At approximately 9:30 p.m. on December 8, a woman left her 21-month old child and two other children in the care of Zachary Collins, 24, while she went to work. When she returned home the next morning at 7:30 a.m., she saw the child lying on a couch with Collins, the toddler's father, and immediately noticed that the child "was not doing well."

The mother observed bruising on the child's forehead, lips, and torso, and called the child's grandmother, Collins's mother, to check on the child's condition. The grandmother called emergency responders.

The child was transported in critical condition to a local hospital, where medical personnel determined that the injuries were not accidental, but were rather inflicted upon the child.

As police interviewed Collins, he initially blamed the toddler's injuries on a 3-year-old child in the home, saying the older child pushed the 1-year-old off a bed onto the concrete floor. However, doctors said that a 3-year-old would not have been able to generate the force that caused such injuries, and Collins's story did not match up with the trauma inflicted on the child.

Eventually, police say, the baby's father admitted to abusing the child, saying he picked him up, slammed his head into a wall, punched him in the stomach, and threw him onto the couch. The man, who admits to having drunk a six-pack of beer and a half pint of tequila while he was supposed to be watching the children, says he became frustrated with the child because he would not let him sleep. After allegedly beating the child, Collins wiped the blood from the baby's face and lay down on the couch and slept until morning.

Investigators say the child was slammed against the wall with such force that his head left a hole in the wall. Police arrested Collins on complaints of child abuse and child neglect.

On Monday, the child died of his injuries, and a charge of child abuse murder was added against Collins. Now that the murder charge is added, the suspect is held without bond in the Tulsa County Jail.

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