Former LSU standout offensive lineman La’el Collins, who had been projected as a first-round pick in Thursday night’s NFL draft as recently as Monday, will be meeting with Baton Rouge homicide detectives as part of the department’s investigation into the recent killing of a pregnant woman, police said.
Although police do not have any suspects in the fatal shooting of 29-year-old Brittney Mills, nor have they released any possible motives for the killing, Collins’ mere association with the woman’s death draped his draft status in enough uncertainty that his agent asked the NFL to withdraw Collins from the selection process just hours before it began, FoxSports.com reported Thursday.
The effort proved fruitless, the website reported, when the NFL rejected the agent’s request.
Collins went undrafted Thursday night.
Ever since Tuesday, when police first revealed that detectives wanted to speak with Collins regarding the death of the woman with whom he had some sort of relationship, few new details have emerged about the killing of Mills.
Mills was shot multiple times in “the upper body” last Friday night after answering the door at her Ship Drive apartment, police said, likely by someone she knew. It appeared she refused a request by the shooter to use her vehicle and then was shot, police have said.
Mills, who died at the scene, was rushed to a hospital where her unborn son was delivered in stable condition.
Cpl. Don Coppola Jr., a police spokesman, said Thursday that detectives originally reached out to Collins’ family and his agent on Saturday in an effort to speak with him. It wasn’t until Thursday that Collins through a representative agreed to speak with them after the draft, police said, and detectives have yet to hear from Collins himself.
Collins is one of many people who will be interviewed as part of the investigation into Mills’ death, police have said. His attorney, Jim Boren, said Wednesday that he would not be commenting further on the matter.
Boren had previously said Collins was not in Baton Rouge when Mills was killed on April 24. The attorney said a private investigative company was hired to prove Collins was out of town and therefore couldn’t have shot Mills.
The nature of the relationship between Mills and Collins hasn’t been made clear except to the extent that the two knew each other.
Mills’ sister, Tia T. Mills, pleaded Tuesday for anyone with information about her sister’s death to come forward. She said her sister was a kind, loving person whose two children — the newborn son and a 10-year-old daughter — must now grow up motherless.