McCollum's Brother: "Things May Be Done Right This Time"

By: Tony Tagliavia Email
By: Tony Tagliavia Email

LaRon McCollum has watched his brother Claude McCollum sit in prison for nearly two years for a murder both men say Claude did not commit.

"It was very frustrating, going to see my brother, not being able to see him all the time," LaRon McCollum told News 10.

Now, after he was convicted and sentenced for killing Lansing Community College Professor Carolyn Kronenberg, Claude McCollum's attorney and the prosecutor are asking for a new trial.

"He's very excited that it's being reopened," his brother said. "It seems like from what we're hearing that things may be done right this time."

LaRon McCollum says his brother's time in prison has been tough. He spent a lot of time in solitude, praying and trying to get used to the place where he was sentenced to spend a lifetime.

But he never gave up hope or faith.

Claude McCollum was a student at LCC, so he spent a lot of time here. But his family maintained from the beginning that he could not have committed this murder.

"It was a test of your faith," LaRon McCollum says of his family's outspoken opposition to Claude McCollum's prosecution. But LaRon McCollum says he's not angry with police or prosecutors.

He says it's a sad situation, and one that should prompt change in the criminal justice system.

The family's attorney, Hugh Clarke says both sides are calling for a new trial is a powerful statement -- one he believes the Michigan Court of Appeals will likely grant. And when it does?

"It would be my intention to seek bond, some kind of reasonable bail in this matter," Clarke said.

It would be a chance for freedom for Claude McCollum for the first time in nearly two years.

LaRon McCollum says the family is "just very hopeful. Very prayerful," he said. "I hope it goes in the right direction this time and justice is done."

For now the definition of justice rests with the Court of Appeals.

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  • by Iris Location: lansing on Sep 21, 2007 at 05:25 PM
    I was a court observer for the whole trial of Claude McCollum. I kept saying to the prosecuting attorney that I did not think he was guilty. He stated " I am glad you are not on my jury" I have felt along that the jury found an innocent man guilty. I spoke to a juror after the trail, and the only evidence that convinced her of his guilt was the video tape interrogation. I'm sorry but I watched the whole video tape too and felt the officers railroaded him into this hypothetical scenario. My only hope is that his grandmother, who always believed in his innocence, lives to see her grandson's vindication.
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