ST JOHNS — The Apache County Attorney’s office has decided to withdraw from the plea agreement in the Terrilynne Collins murder case.
The move comes on the heels of outrage expressed by the family of Terrilynne Collins, a wife and mother who was allegedly shot and killed by defendant Joshua Richardson at her family retreat in Concho in October, 2017.
The parties believed that they had a settlement in the case and signed a plea agreement which would require Richardson to plead guilty to negligent homicide, a far lesser crime than the first degree murder Richardson is charged with.
Ernest Collins, Jr., Terrilynne’s widower, felt that he and his family were blindsided by the plea agreement. Collins claims that he was assured Richardson would plead to a more serious charge, and strenuously objected.
In an email to Collins on Jan. 2, lead prosecutor Garrett Whiting wrote that the state had withdrawn from the deal and would ask the Apache County Superior Court to set a telephonic status conference so the parties can decide whether to go back to the negotiating table or set the case for a jury trial.