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Harlem Ex-Con Arraigned in Connection to Basketball Star Murder

By DNAinfo Staff on September 14, 2011 9:38am  | Updated on September 14, 2011 9:41am

Prosecutors believe Terique Collins, 24, supplied two men with the gun used to shoot 18-year-old Tayshana Murphy.
Prosecutors believe Terique Collins, 24, supplied two men with the gun used to shoot 18-year-old Tayshana Murphy.
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DNAinfo/Shayna Jacobs

MANHATTAN SUPREME COURT — A convicted felon was arraigned early Wednesday on charges he supplied a weapon to the men who allegedly gunned down 18-year-old basketball star Tayshana Murphy inside her Harlem housing complex.

Terique Collins, 24, of the Manhattanville Houses in Harlem, was charged with second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and ordered held on $250,000 bond or $100,000 cash bail. He got a call to bring a weapon to the shooters before the 4 a.m. murder on Sunday, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said police arrested Collins at his Amsterdam Ave. apartment Monday night after executing a search warrant and finding a bullet there.

Although the bullet was not the kind used to kill Murphy, Collins was on parole at the time of the arrest and has a previous gun possession conviction, Assistant District Attorney Jefferey Levinson said.

Police are still on the hunt for Robert Cartagena, 20, and Tyshawn Brockington, 21, who they believe shot Murphy three times in the chest, hip and arm as she ran from them inside the Grant Houses Sunday morning, according to Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.

As Murphy was chased into the fourth floor of the building, where she lived with her family, witnesses said they could hear her begging for her life, telling the gunman that she was "not involved" in whatever dispute was going on.

Surveillance video from the Grant Houses that night showed Cartagena and Brockington with guns in their waistbands, according to NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly.

Police sources said eyewitnesses reported seeing Collins pass a gun to the shooters before the incident. Eyewitnesses said Collins' gun was the murder weapon. Sources said he denied involvement.

Collins had been released on parole in February after spending only a year and a half of a possible three and a half year prison sentence for selling crack to undercover cops, police sources said. He was arrested again on May 12 for smoking marijuana outside the Grant Houses, and was due in Manhattan court Wednesday, according to court records.

Cartagena had a prior misdemeanor trespass charge for being in the lobby of a Grant Houses apartment building with a friend at 6:45 p.m. on Aug. 31 without permission, according to the criminal complaint.

Defense attorney David McGruder asked for significantly lower bail, arguing that police had not found a gun in his possession.

"There is no gun. This is a bad gun case at best," McGruder said.

Collins is due back in court on Sept. 16.