Friday, April 17, 2015

Former Chief William McCollum Indicted on Misdemeanor Charge

Former Peachtree City Police Chief released on bond

PEACHTREE CITY, Ga. (WXIA) -- Former Police Chief William McCollom reported to the Fayette County Jail Thursday after being indicted for shooting his former wife. He was charged with misdemeanor reckless conduct.
McCollom arrived at the jail a few minutes after noon Thursday.
Fayette County District Attorney Scott Ballard announced in March he would seek the misdemeanor indictment against McCollom.
The indictment was returned by the grand jury after hearing from only one witness, a GBI agent who conducted the investigation into what happened in McCollum's bedroom on January 1.
The former police chief spent about 45 minutes at the jail before being released on a pre-arranged $5,000 bond deal.
McCollom has never spoken publicly about the incident. As he left the jail, he said his wife is doing "much better." When asked if there's anything he'd like to say to the community, he replied, "I will," as he go into vehicle.
Ballard argued before the grand jury that McCollom, who was the police Peachtree City Police Chief at the time, acted with reckless conduct when he shot his former wife in their bed on New Year's Day. Under Georgia law, reckless conduct occurs when "a person who causes bodily harm to or endangers the bodily safety of another person by consciously disregarding a substantial and unjustifiable risk."
Former Peachtree City Police Chief William McCollom indicted WXIA
According to the indictment:
"The Grand Jurors, In the name and behalf of the citizens of Georgia, charge and accuse William McCollom with the offense of Reckless Conduct for that said William McCollom in the County and State aforesaid, on or about the1st day of January, 2015, did unlawfully endanger the bodily safety of Margaret McCollom by consciously disregarding a substantial and unjustifiable risk that his act of taking a loaded firearm to bed where the accused and Margaret McCollom were sleeping after having ingested alcohol and sleep medication would endanger the safety of Margaret McCollom and the disregard constituted a gross deviation from the standard of care which a reasonable person would exercize in the situation, contrary to the laws of said State, the good order, peace and dignity thereof."
"There is no evidence to suggest that Chief McCollom intentionally shot Mrs. McCollom, nor did the investigation reveal any motive to cause her harm," D.A. Ballard said in the statement.

A GBI investigation found McCollom went to bed with a loaded gun after drinking and consuming sleeping medication. He was awakened by the gunshot.

Please see the analysis of the 911 call.  His own words disagree with the above statement.  In short, he was not only deceptive in his responses, but was able to make it through an entire 911 call without once using the word "wife", or "my", or the victim's name. 
In Statement Analysis, we view the social introduction plainly:  an incomplete social introduction is a reflection of reality, and indicates a problem in the relationship at the time of the statement. 
In his case, there was no social introduction, at all.  This puzzled the 911 operator and does not only indicate distancing language from the victim, but indicates animosity and blame towards the victim.  

When one is intoxicated and has alcohol black outs, the language will show gaps of missing information. 
In his case, the information was deliberately suppressed including how the gun got into the bed, pulling the trigger, and that he kept the 911 operator "in the dark" with his deliberately short, vague, and unhelpful answers. 

Reported previously, it is alleged that his wife, Maggie McCollum, a nurse, had confided in friends at a hospital in Florida that she was involved in a domestically violent relationship and had divorced from McCollum, with friends urging her not to return to him. 

The language of domestic violence is evident in the call, the high-mindedness and need to control.  

This was an event that came after a period of anger and discord.  

The caller shows no empathy for his victim, but only for his own situation, even while she lay bleeding, paralyzed, next to him. 

D/V victims often speak in denial, but over time, they do tell the truth.  In this case, the victim is in a most vulnerable position:  unable to care for herself, wholly dependent upon the man who not only shot her but, in Statement Analysis:
deprived her of her status of "wife", and de-personalized her without even using her name.  

In defense of the prosecutor:  

Given the nature of denial in D/V, along with the severity of the injury, the prosecutor may not have had the cooperation of the victim, leaving prosecution little choice in what they were able to charge him with.  

Margaret McCollom is still getting treatment at Shepherd Spinal Center for paralysis below the waist and other complications.
The details of the grand jury deliberation are confidential and will not be made public until they're filed with the court.
McCollom resigned days after the DA announced he would take the case to a grand jury.
The maximum sentence for a misdemeanor reckless conduct charge is 12 months in jail, but a plea deal is expected before the case ever goes to trial.


tania cadogan said...

I wonder if his wife will ever sue him?

Will she divorce him?

Will she take a long hard look at her life as it was, especially given she divorced him once already, and her life now and for the foreseeable future as she is now permanently disabled and reliant on others for her personal care.
Reliant on her husband to look after her however he decides and to what degree of care especially knowing he had been previously alleged to have been abusive to her, he deliberately shot her ( despite the minimised charge) and that she is now extremely vulnerable, more so than before, since she can no longer run away when threatened.

For now she may feel safe since there is a pending trial and he knows he is being closely watched.
What about later when the trial is over (if he doesn't do a deal)?

What about a year down the line?
Five years down the line?

He had to resign his job losing the social status that came with it.
He will resent having to care for his wife, even if he is a control freak and she cannot escape him.
She will be a burden on him, a millstone round his neck.
Everything will have to be organised around her needs and abilities.
he was abusive to her when she was physically healthy and could escape, he now has a vulnerable target to take his frustrations out on.

He knows his every move will be scrutinised by her family and friends, he knows they know his track record and he will know they aren;'t buying his version of events.

He knows she knows what really happened, he knows that at any moment she could decide to speak out as to what really happened rather than doing what most DV victims do which is stay silent and blame themselves.

His wife alive is a threat to him, he will see her as being able to blackmail him (even if she wouldn't do such a thing, he will think it because it is what he himself would do in the same situation)
His wife alive and with all her faculties makes him feel vulnerable.
He knows if she decided to divorce him he would lose everything, he would lose more due to her physical needs as a result of his behavior and actions towards her.

Whatever motive he had for trying to kill her previously is nothing to the motive he has now for getting rid of her.

If (probably when, in the future) he decides to finish off what he started, he will stage it as a suicide and then claim she couldn't face being paralysed for life, she didn't want to be a burdern on him etc)

His only other option would be to stage an accident where she couldn't escape due to her disabilities/ he couldn't rescue her due to her disabiltis and he was overcome/she told him to make his escape.

If she was at risk before, she is at risk more so due to all the pressure, stress and inconvenience of having to care for a disabled adult.

I will also not be surprised if he starts having affairs if he hasn't already.

john said...


Grammar goof or clues in a crime?

Norfolk, VA -- In several interviews with television stations and on an Internet podcast, the adoptive father of missing college student AJ Hadsell repeatedly spoke of her in the past tense, even though no one at the time knew she was dead.

Several law enforcement sources are telling NewsChannel 3 that investigators have noted the numerous times Wesley Hadsell spoke of his daughter that way, saying it could be a revealing clue.

Anjelica "AJ" Hadsell disappeared in Norfolk on March 2 while on spring break from Longwood University. For weeks, Wesley Hadsell and others organized searches for her until police arrested him. Police told NewsChannel 3 that he was interfering with their investigation. They haven't disclosed exactly how.

But while he was free, and even in interviews from jail, Wesley Hadsell often lapsed into past tense when talking about AJ.

"My daughter was an awesome person," he said during an Internet podcast on that was published three weeks before AJ's body was found. On her website, Hoffman said she invited Wesley Hadsell to call into her show, "Case to Case with Chelsea Hoffman" and talk about the search for AJ.

"My daughter was an awesome person," Wesley Hadsell said in the interview. "She helped people. She excelled. She inspired. She, she loved people."

Several times during the interview, Wesley Hadsell spoke of AJ in the past. When asked if he knew who might have taken her, Wesley Hadsell said, "My daughter didn't have enemies. But, let's say, she had someone … who, um, liked her, loved, her, obsessed about her."

He did not reveal who that was.

Hoffman told NewsChannel 3 on Thursday that a Norfolk homicide detective contacted her, asking if she had any portions of the interview that were not broadcast. She said she didn't.

Hadsell also lapsed into past tense in television interviews, including one with NewsChannel 3's Marissa Jasek.

"I loved her. We were a family. And I wanted to be a family," Wesley Hadsell told Marissa, weeks before AJ's body was found. He continued, "She was the glue for our family."

Police have not said how or when AJ died, and they have not charged anyone in her disappearance or death. Wesley Hadsell is charged with breaking into a neighbor's home in a crime police said was related to the case. They will not say specifically how. He was also charged for being a felon in possession of ammunition.

tania cadogan said...

Thanks John, Classic open mouth insert feet statements :)

tania cadogan said...

Off topic

Drew Peterson has a new lawyer and, it seems, a new legal strategy.

The retired Bolingbrook police sergeant waived a preliminary hearing Tuesday in a surprise move that prevented prosecutors from publicly airing details of his alleged murder-for-hire plot.

His downstate attorney, Lucas Liefer, said it was a decision based on their desire to minimize interest in the case.

Instead, Peterson entered a plea of not guilty and asked to schedule his trial as soon as possible. A trial was tentatively set for late July.

"It wasn't a last-minute decision, but we didn't want anyone to know obviously," said Liefer, a private attorney who was appointed to represent Peterson after he asked for a public defender. "Basically, we don't want this case tried before a jury is ever impaneled."

Liefer's approach stands in stark contrast to Peterson's former defense team, which held twice-daily news availabilities during his 2012 murder trial and routinely mocked the evidence against their client. It also comes on the heels of several headline-grabbing stories last week in which one of Peterson's former attorneys released letters from an inmate who claimed knowledge of the murder-for-hire case.

The letters suggested Peterson had been entrapped. Liefer declined to discuss them.

"I'm not going to disclose what our defense is," he said.

While Peterson's legal strategy may have changed, his personality seemed much the same Tuesday.

Looking older and paler than he did at his murder trial, Peterson smirked as he entered the courtroom in Randolph County. He shot an unfriendly glance at his sister-in-law Cassandra Cales, who returned his stare. Cales has accused him of murdering her sister Stacy, though Peterson has never been charged in her disappearance. After sitting down at the defense table, Peterson turned to the media and whispered, "Check this out." Then he put on a pair of clunky, prison-issued bifocals.

He also smiled at courtroom sketch artists, pointing at his mouth as if to suggest his grin should be included in their renderings. Wearing prison clothes and shackles around his ankles, Peterson was ringed by nearly a dozen security officers throughout the proceeding.

Peterson, 61, was accused last month of soliciting a hit man to kill Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow, who prosecuted him for the murder of Peterson's third wife, Kathleen Savio. He was charged in Randolph County, home to the maximum-security Menard Correctional Center, where he has been incarcerated for the past two years.

Court documents released Tuesday state that authorities used a court-ordered eavesdropping device on two occasions — from Oct. 24 to Nov. 23, 2014, and from Nov. 23 to Dec. 22, 2014. An FBI agent was expected to testify about the recordings Tuesday, but his appearance was canceled when Peterson waived the hearing.

tania cadogan said...

After a closed-door meeting with the defense and prosecutors, Randolph County Court Judge Richard Brown barred both sides from releasing details about the recordings and the informant who helped secure them. Prosecutors have said the informant's safety would be jeopardized if his name became public.

If convicted of the solicitation, Peterson could face 60 years in prison in addition to his 38-year sentence for killing Savio.

He is scheduled to be paroled in May 2047, when he would be 93 years old.

The solicitation charges come nearly two years after Peterson railed against Glasgow during an angry, self-pitying speech moments before his sentencing. In that 40-minute rant, Peterson accused the longtime prosecutor of spearheading the "most extensive, expensive and obsessive investigation probably known in the United States."

Peterson is appealing his murder conviction, partially based on prosecutors presenting a case built largely on hearsay statements.

Glasgow did not attend the hearing.

The new criminal case adds another sensational chapter to a saga that has grabbed international headlines since Peterson's fourth wife, Stacy, vanished in 2007. In light of Stacy's disappearance, Glasgow reopened Savio's case, and her 2004 death was ruled a homicide. The authorities previously had ruled that Savio accidentally drowned in her bathtub while she was going through a bitter divorce with Peterson.

Peterson has not been charged in Stacy's disappearance, though he remains the only suspect.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, Maggie McCollum is a good example loud and clear why abused women (and men!) must get away from their domestic abuse partner and stay away from them. Now she will be at his mercy for the rest of her pathetic life, with no help and no recourse.

There are many examples of these tragic women who met their doom at the hands of their dangerously violent abuser who knew it was coming. Staci Peterson is another example. She knew she was in danger at the hands of Peterson yet she stayed in her situation, scared of him and believing he had killed Kathleen, his former wife, but doing nothing quickly and quietly to protect herself other than talking to her barely known minister about her fears until it was too late.

WHY do these women continue to live in fear and degradation while risking their lives for these madmen? Are they crazy or what? They certainly can't rationally claim they "loved him." What's to love, or even like, about a man (or woman) who abuses you?

Bonnie Blue said...

She is now his "former wife" ?

When did this come about?

Anonymous said...

As I understand it, apparently Maggie divorced him a few years ago but had recently remarried him. During their prior marriage and divorce there were witnesses who said he abused her.

However, unfortunately she gave him another chance like so many abused women do, already knowing the b'stard was capable of killing her.

According to friends and family members she was still married to him the second time at the time of his attempted murder of her.

trustmeigetit said...

I was married to an abusive man. He was in the military and we were stationed in Germany. I was only 18 when we married (it was the only way I could go to Germany with him financially) and he told me I could not leave unles she signed for it since it meant the military would pay for my return flight home. I hadn't way of knowing.

So that was 2 years. The day we landed back home, I arranged to have my mom pick us up and made plans for us each to spend time with our own family's fora couple days.

When we dropped him off at his, I rolled the window down as we were driving away and said I was divorcing him.

I honestly would have left sooner if I can been in the U.S. And could have driven home.

I get cases where people have no one to turn to, but living that life was hell and I could not wait to get away. I lost everything I owned since the military took our things to his feet station and I refused to go near him.

But it was the best decision I made.

I do not get staying when you can leave. Again, I get that some have no one to go to and that makes it harder.

But that's another reason why I choose to have my own career and never be dependent on man.

I do not understand how anyone can justify this not being murder in the first.

No one sleeps with a gun and anyone trained to the level law enforcement is with guns would not accidently shoot someone by simply moving it off the bed.

But then this is not the first case where people look the other way when there is clearly a crime.

Peter Hyatt said...


so very sad.

One woman needed surgery and when the military met with her regarding her husband's assault, she was told that she would lose her medical coverage, if she pressed charges.

Then his subordinates all came and begged her to be silent and withdraw her charges.

Then, there was his family who simply did not believe the charges...

Then it was HER family who only saw the good side of him...

then it was, in subtle pressure:

"maybe you did something that really got him angry; he is such a good guy..." and this led to:

"But he is a hero for our nation and his sons will..."

She had lots and lots of reasons to live quietly in fear.

It was a tragedy waiting to happen.