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Aurora man, 25, sentenced to 160 years in prison for murder, attempted murder

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Posted at 7:22 AM, Dec 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-24 09:22:20-05

AURORA, Colo. — A 25-year-old man was sentenced to 160 years in prison after he was convicted of killing one person and trying to kill another in Aurora.

On Dec. 17, Joseph Allen Collins Jr., whom the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office called a “career criminal,” was sentenced to 96 years in the death of 22-year-old Zachary Robinson of Aurora and 64 years for attempting to murder Robinson’s friend, who was also 22 at the time.

The crime occurred on June 25, 2018 in the middle of the afternoon. Robinson and his friend were cutting through a common area of an apartment complex at 2095 S. Paris Way in Aurora. Several people were outside in the area, including Collins and two of his friends, according to the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

While details were scarce, a brief disagreement broke out and Collins pulled out a gun and shot Robinson and his friend. Both Robinson and his friend were unarmed.

Collins and his friends fled from the scene and Robinson’s friend was able to run to a nearby business for help.

Robinson (pictured below) died at the scene. His friend survived the attack.

In September 2019, Collins, who was ruled a habitual offender, was convicted of second-degree murder in the death of Robinson. Collins was also convicted of attempted second-degree murder in the shooting of Robinson’s friend.

In addition, Collins was convicted of two counts of felony menacing and possession of a weapon by a previous offender.

Robinson’s family attended Collins’s court hearings and both of his parents addressed the sentencing on Dec. 17. Robinson’s father called Collins a coward and his mother said her heart was “broken into a million pieces.”

“By age 25, this career criminal had racked up multiple felony convictions, repeatedly and illegally possessed firearms, failed at numerous attempts at supervision and rehabilitation, all before murdering another human being and shooting yet another,” said District Attorney George Brauchler. “The system did not fail this miscreant. He chose to fail society.”