, Corbin, KY

June 10, 2013

Arjay woman charged in fatal crash arraigned

The Times-Tribune


By John L. Ross / Staff Writer

Nathaniel “Nathan” Lee Broughton was 11 years old when he was killed in a car crash just over a year ago.

And now, a 35-year-old Arjay woman recently indicted for allegedly killing him in that crash faced arraignment in Knox County Circuit Court Friday.

Melissa Ann Collett appeared handcuffed in typical jail attire before Judge Tom Jensen. During her court appearance, it was determined Collett was eligible for a public defender, and Jensen appointed attorney Stephanie McKeehan to represent her.

McKeehan waived formal arraignment Friday and entered a not guilty plea to all counts on Collett’s behalf.

Collett has been scheduled to appear for a pretrial conference Aug. 2.

The bond issue was discussed, but for the time Jensen ruled to keep Collett’s current bond. She remains jailed in the Knox County Detention Center under a $250,000 cash bond.

Collett received a five-count indictment from Judge Gregory Lay in May.

The first count indicts her for murder after she allegedly was driving a vehicle while under the influence of intoxicants, then crashed that vehicle, killing Broughton.

Counts two through four indict her on three separate charges of first-degree assault after allegedly causing the crash and seriously injuring Dominique Broughton and two other young children.

The fifth count indicts Collett for her third offense of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicants. She was previously convicted of this offense on two separate occasions in 2007 in Bell County.