16-year-old Selma murder suspect has first court appearance

16-year-old Selma murder suspect has first court appearance
Victim Chris Lee was just 17, a star athlete at Ellwood Christian Academy. (Source: Family)
Victim Chris Lee was just 17, a star athlete at Ellwood Christian Academy. (Source: Family)
The bullet hole in the chair is still visible. (Source: WSFA 12 News)
The bullet hole in the chair is still visible. (Source: WSFA 12 News)
Lee was sitting in this chair when he was fatally shot. (Source: WSFA 12 News)
Lee was sitting in this chair when he was fatally shot. (Source: WSFA 12 News)
Crime scene tape still visible on trees at the scene of the homicide. (Source: WSFA 12 News)
Crime scene tape still visible on trees at the scene of the homicide. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

DALLAS COUNTY, AL (WSFA) - Dallas County authorities brought 16-year old Markel Collins to the courthouse for his arraignment Wednesday afternoon.

"You have anything to say Markel?" WSFA 12 News reporter Bryan Henry asked Collins as he was being led into a holding cell before court proceedings. He declined to answer.

Meantime, on Washington Street, Brendolyn Strong says Chris Lee was like a grandson. According to Strong, Lee was visiting Monday morning and sitting in the very chair where a bullet pierced the back of the chair and then another one struck Lee in the side. C

Lee was star basketball player at Ellwood Christian Academy in Selma. He was just 17-years old.

"Before he died, it looked like his ribs and all that was broke," Strong explained.

District Attorney Michael Jackson says Collins is the youngest capital murder suspect in Selma in recent memory. The alleged motive in the case appears to be gang-related, some kind of revenge, but over what remains unclear.

"It's under investigation about who all was involved in this," Jackson said. "I can't say whether he confessed."

In court, Collins said he understood the charge of capital murder. He seemed nervous but respectful. The judge did not set a bond. When it was over, the suspect again declined to share his side of the story. In handcuffs and shackled at the feet, he was then taken back to the Dallas County Jail.

Court records show Collins' attorney is Bill Whately of Montgomery. Whately told the court he *may* file a motion for a bond hearing. Investigators say a second person was arrested in the case for shooting at houses.

Collins' preliminary hearing is set for August 2.

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