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Collins Arraigned on Burglary Charge

January 7, 2000

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) _ An innocent plea was entered Friday for suspended Miami Dolphins running back Cecil Collins on a felony burglary charge filed after he allegedly broke into a neighbor’s bedroom last month.

Collins, who has been jailed and was brought to court in handcuffs, and attorney Fred Haddad stood mute before Circuit Judge Joyce Julian, who entered the plea on the rookie player’s behalf.

During a hearing that lasted less than five minutes, Haddad filed a motion to dismiss the case on what he termed ``fundamental grounds.″

A trial will be scheduled for March, but might not take place if Louisiana officials take custody of Collins for violating terms of his probation, said Assistant State Attorney Dan Losey.

Collins was sent back to the Broward County Jail after the hearing. The criminal charge carries a possible 15-year prison sentence.

Terms of his probation allow Louisiana authorities to detain him if he is arrested in any jurisdiction.

In 1998, Collins was twice charged with unauthorized entry into women’s apartments at his complex in Baton Rouge, La. In one incident, a 17-year-old said Collins exposed himself and rubbed against her.

A transcript of Collins’ questioning by police in Florida was released this week. Collins admitted breaking into the apartment of Tina and Ronald Nolte as they slept and to being chased out by Nolte on Dec. 16.

Collins was the sensation of the Dolphins’ training camp, but he was hampered by injuries and failed to upgrade Miami’s feeble rushing attack. In eight games, Collins rushed for 414 yards and two touchdowns before breaking his left leg in November.

He was suspended after the arrest last month.

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