Paul Pete Collins, a former Mississippi
State trooper who was sentenced to 10 years for fondling a child,
committed suicide today (Sunday) by hanging himself in a prison
That's according to Mississippi Department of Corrections
Commissioner Chris Epps.
The 62-year-old Collins spent years with the Mississippi Highway
Patrol, receiving praise from supervisors and several awards for
President Clinton even awarded him the Presidential Citation for
an Outstanding Enforcement Officer in 1994.
After retiring from the highway patrol, Collins became a highly
sought-after motivational speaker only to be disgraced by charges
he fondled a 13-year-old girl.
He was sentenced Friday in Lee County to 15 years with five
suspended and 10 to serve. He was sent to do his time at the
Central Mississippi Correctional Facility in Rankin County.
That's where Epps says his body was found hanging at 2:44 p.m.
Epps said the investigation was continuing and few details.
Collins was convicted Thursday in Lee County on one count of
fondling a child under the age of 16.
Prosecutors say the touching occurred while Collins was visiting