Trials set for Dayton father, girlfriend in Takoda Collins' death

Parker Perry, Dayton Daily News, Ohio
·3 min read

Mar. 4—The father of a 10-year-old boy who authorities say was locked in an attic and killed is expected to go to trial in the case next month.

Al-Mutahan McLean, who is charged in connection to the death of Takoda Collins, told the court he didn't wish to delay the April 26 trial date that was previously set. McLean called for his attorney to visit him in the jury box, where he was sitting during a motion to suppress hearing as Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge Dennis Adkins was discussing moving the trial to September.

The judge warned that it was possible that he might not have his ruling on the motion to suppress until just days before the trial, and that he would not continue the trial at that time for that reason. The defense indicated that they understood.

McLean, 31, is charged with murder, involuntary manslaughter, felonious assault, rape, kidnapping and endangering children.

Authorities have said in court documents that Takoda suffered "extreme abuse" before his death. Prosecutor Mat Heck Jr. said in a previous release that Takoda was tortured both mentally and physically for years.

Meanwhile, the trial against Amanda Hinze, McLean's girlfriend, who is also charged in connection to the boy's death, was continued until September. Hinze, 29, faces involuntary manslaughter, kidnapping and child endangering charges.

Both defendants have pleaded not guilty in the case, and both remain in the Montgomery County Jail on $1 million bond.

Defense lawyers for McLean and Hinze have asked a judge to bar evidence collected by law enforcement in the case, including statements they made to police and items collected from search warrants during their investigation. Exactly what McLean's defense team has asked to bar isn't clear because the case documents have been restricted by the judge and a gag order was issued in the case.

During the hearing Thursday, Dayton Police homicide detectives recounted their involvement in the investigation. Det. David House testified that he and another detective used force against McLean at the Dayton Police station after McLean began to make loud noises in an interview room and refused to drop a chair when confronted by police.

McLean's defense questioned why police interrogated McLean that same night after the incident. Police said that McLean voluntarily agreed to be questioned and that he was read his Miranda rights.

Also, House talked about how he had a conversation with Hinze's sister, Jennifer Ebert, after her first interview with the police. Ebert has pleaded guilty in the case, according to prosecutors.

"I informed Ms. Ebert that Takoda didn't deserve what happened to him, I told her that his life was a living Hell," House said.

He said that he told Ebert that she could have stepped up and spoken out and that she needed to cooperate with police now to do the right thing.

House said that he left and then returned after he got a text that Ebert was talking to herself about telling the truth. Once he got to where she was, Ebert asked to speak with Hinze, House said, and he allowed them to speak.

"Ms. Ebert told Amanda Hinze that she was going to tell us everything," House said. "She was going to tell the truth and she wasn't going down for this."

House said that Ebert also suggested to Hinze that she should tell the truth.

Defense Attorney Dennis Leiberman, who is representing Hinze, questioned House as to why he "facilitated" the meeting between Ebert and Hinze, adding that Hinze requested an attorney during her first interview and questioned House whether the meeting was to convince Hinze to forego representation and speak with police.

House said that the conversation was initiated by Ebert. Authorities said Hinze agreed to be interviewed later that evening by police after the conversation with her sister.

The court took the arguments under advisement and a ruling is expected at a later date.