A New Orleans woman awaiting trial in a traffic accident that killed a cyclist allegedly strangled her fiancé to death during a drunken fight at the couple’s home this week, police said.
Laura Collins, 33, said that her fiancé flew into a drunken rage and attacked her around 1 a.m. on Tuesday. Court records indicate that Collins said that it was then that she put the man in a lethal “chokehold” in self-defense, NOLA.com reported. She later walked to a neighbor’s house and asked them to call the authorities.
But after processing the crime scene, detectives say they found her account to be unreliable.
Collins’ fiancé’s body was discovered in a bedroom at the residence, his face allegedly covered with blood and had bruising on his neck. Pet food was scattered throughout the house and furniture was destroyed, while a “severely damaged cell phone” and “small amounts of blood” were also found in two separate rooms, according to crime scene investigators.
The man, who wasn’t publicly identified, was pronounced dead at the home.
Under police questioning, Collins repeatedly maintained she “choked … out” her fiancé out of fear for her safety. However, detectives stated that the wounds she displayed in the domestic altercation weren’t “consistent with the possibility she could have lost her life,” according to NOLA.com.
Approximately a year before her fiance’s death, Collins allegedly crashed her car into cyclist Lloyd Smith in the Mid-City section of New Orleans. The 58-year-old was thrown from his bike and died at the scene on Jan. 9, 2020, the newspaper reported.
Police say Collins initially fled the scene. She was later charged with manslaughter, hit-and-run driving, and obstruction of justice. She pleaded not guilty to the charges, according to court documents, and was freed on a $45,000 bond. No court date has been set in the matter.
Smith’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Collins this month.
Collins was booked into a New Orleans detention center on Jan. 12, online jail records show. She’s being held on a $150,000 bond, NOLA.com reported.
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