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'They failed us': Father of slain teen angry after killer's 5-year sentence

Braeden Collins Kiah Pritchett.png
Posted at 10:16 PM, May 20, 2024

MUSKOGEE, OKla. — A man convicted in the killing of a Muskogee teen almost three years ago finally got his sentence May 20, yet it's the lack of prison time that has family and friends of Braeden Collins shocked and angry all over again.

"We did not get one single thing we asked for as victims. Not one single thing," Jonathan Collins, Braeden's father, told 2 News.

Cameras aren't allowed inside the Ed Edmundson Federal Courthouse in Muskogee, but Jonathan Collins' disappointment after his family heard Kiah Pritchett's sentence read aloud said it all.

"(Pritchett) pleaded guilty to felony possession of a firearm, which he could've gotten ten years for. And he was charged with involuntary manslaughter, which could have been eight years," Collins added. "But (the judge) decided to give him (63) months."

In addition to five years and three months at El Reno Federal Correctional Institution, Pritchett will also serve three years of supervised released and two $100 mandatory special assessments.

After 18-year old Braeden Collins went missing in Cherokee County on July 4, 2021, his charred body was found in a burned SUV off the side of a road. Pritchett admitted to pulling the trigger that killed him.

Collins' parents first learned of Pritchett's plea deal last summer, but Jonathan said he was still let down by the U.S. Justice Department in the months that followed.

"(Pritchett gets an attorney paid for by us, essentially. We don't," Collins said. "We have had nobody in our corner to navigate this system, and it's been difficult."

One of the leading prosecutors told 2 News a press release from their office will be released on Tuesday, but nothing else will follow.

Pritchett's public defender, Matt Campbell of the U.S. Virgin Islands, replied to a 2 News email simply stating, "No comment."

Braeden's father in the meantime, said the family is not done fighting for justice, and will ask the Cherokee Nation to step in.

"Hopefully, the Cherokee Nation attorney general will do what they justice department can't do and at least hold him accountable for burning our son's body. Charge him for arson and desecration of a corpse," Jonathan Collins added.

"We won't stop. I mean, it will go on forever, and we won't stop, because Braeden wouldn't stop for us."

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