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Alleged Gun Runner Should Have Been in Prison When Hoops Star Was Killed

By DNAinfo Staff on September 21, 2011 8:18am

Terique Collins, 24, was charged with providing a murder weapon to the alleged shooters of Tayshana Murphy.
Terique Collins, 24, was charged with providing a murder weapon to the alleged shooters of Tayshana Murphy.
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DNAinfo/Shayna Jacobs

By Murray Weiss and Shayna Jacobs

DNAinfo Staff

MANHATTAN — The ex-con who allegedly passed along the gun that killed Tayshana Murphy in Harlem was supposed to have been behind bars when the Harlem basketball star was shot to death, DNAinfo has learned.

Terique Collins, 24, was sentenced to a 3 1/2 years in prison for drug charges in 2009, court records show, but was released on parole after only serving one year. After he was out, Collins was busted twice — first on Sept. 30, 2010 for a trespassing charge then on May 11, 2011 for smoking pot in public — violating his parole.

But instead of being sent back to prison to serve out his full sentence, Collins was made to serve just six months, court records show. They also show that after his marijuana arrest, Collins was issued only a desk appearance ticket and ordered by the state's Parole Division to go to outpatient treatment.

"He received too many breaks and he should have been in state prison," a law enforcement source said. "And if he were in prison, he would not have been in Harlem that morning getting the gun that was used to kill Murphy."

A spokeswoman for both the state Department of Correctional Services and the Parole Division said Collins was released early because he was part of the SHOCK drug treatment program, which gives prisoners early release if they complete a six month boot camp at an upstate facility.

She could not immediately say why a parole judge decided not to send him back to prison after the repeated arrests.

SHOCK's goals are to institute "a highly structured routine of discipline, intensive regimentation, exercise and work therapy, together with substance abuse treatment, education, pre-release counseling and life skills counseling," according to the Parole Division.

It is available to non-violent offenders aged between 16 and 50 who are eligible for parole within three years.

Collins, who was charged with weapons possession in the Murphy case, is next scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 1. Prosecutors postponed putting his case before a grand jury while police try to apprehend the alleged shooters — Robert Cartagena and Tyshawn Brockington —who remain at large.