, Corbin, KY

September 9, 2013

Accused murderer remains jailed

Woman charged in boy’s death to serve 12 months for charges unrelated to fatal crash


CORBIN — By John L. Ross / Staff Writer

A woman facing murder and several other charges appeared in Knox County Circuit Court Friday for a probation revocation hearing before Judge Tom Jensen.

Melissa Ann Collett, 35, of Arjay, was indicted in May after a 2012 car crash in which she was allegedly involved killed 11-year-old Nathaniel “Nathan” Lee Broughton.

Those charges required the hearing for unrelated charges she faces from 2011.

Collett, who remains jailed, appeared handcuffed and shackled with her defense attorney, Joseph Hammons.

Hammons felt the revocation hearing was premature, saying the court should “wait and see” how the murder charges “play out” in the courtroom.

Probation and Parole officer Tip Smith was sworn in to testify, and soon after the court learned she was sentenced for her previous charges less than two months before the fatal crash.

Hammons asked several questions, including whether Collett’s restitution payments for the 2011 case had been up to date prior to her incarceration.

However, Jensen had the final say – which left Collett with her probation revoked. She will now serve a 12-month sentence.

Jensen then scheduled another pretrial conference in the murder case for Nov. 1.

Court records indicate a civil action has been filed in this matter.

Collett entered a not guilty plea in June. At that time, she was jailed in the Knox County Detention Center under a $250,000 cash bond.

The first count of her May indictment charges her with 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.

After her Friday court appearance she was remanded back into custody.