Bluffton murder suspect denied bond

Samuel Collins, the 38-year-old Bluffton man charged with the murder of Bluffton restaurateur John Cherol, has been denied bond by a Beaufort County judge. The judge considered Collins a threat to the Bluffton community and a flight risk, when stating his decision to deny bond. Collins’ wife, Colette Collins was charged with accessory to murder, and granted a $35,000 bond on Tuesday. She remains under house arrest.

During the bond hearing on Thursday, possible motives were revealed. The prosecution told the judge there had been allegations that Collins had thought his wife had flirted with Cherol, or had had inappropriate behavior with him. She had been at Cherol’s house earlier on October 28, the night Cherol was shot, according to Deputy Solicitor Sean Thornton. Thornton said video evidence showed Colette Collins’ car at Cherol’s house on that day.

Thornton also said video revealed Colette Collins’ car in the neighborhood before and after the two shots were fired that killed Cherol. It is believed that she dropped off and picked up her husband before and after the shooting. She is charged with accessory to murder.

Another possible motive, Thornton said, is that Samuel Collins believed Cherol had set him up to be robbed some months before.

The defense said a possible motive is that Cherol had been involved in drug dealing. The defense also mentioned the possibility of other suspects, besides the husband and wife; the defense said neighbors reported seeing a shadowy image in the area that night, in interviews with police.

Thornton said the investigation on the case is still ongoing.


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