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Accused hitman free despite 3 murder charges; police say those cases are cleared

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BATON ROUGE- Baton Rouge Police have cleared three murder cases that resulted in the arrest of Dexter Collins, even though it appears right now he might never be prosecuted for them.

The WBRZ Investigative Unit exposed this week that Collins was arrested with enough probable cause in murders occurring in 2008, as well as April and September of 2017. Despite there being probable cause, District Attorney Hillar Moore said there was not enough evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that could lead to a conviction. For those reasons, Collins was never formally billed.

Collins was apparently well versed in the law and filled out his own court paperwork petitioning the court for his release, as he was not formally billed within 60 days. The court granted the release, and Collins migrated back to the very streets where he's accused of murder.

An accused hitman, Collins has been implicated in three different murders dating back over a decade. He was arrested for the April 2017 murder of Lorenzo Dixon. Investigators said five months later he killed David Walker. While he was in jail on those charges, Baton Rouge Police announced they solved a 2008 cold case. Collins was also charged with the 2008 murder of Tangie Swanson.

District Attorney Hillar Moore said although there was probable cause for Collins to be arrested by police, prosecutors found evidence fell short of formal charges.

"We believe there is sufficient probable cause to base his arrest on those," Moore said. "Our review, which is more detailed, is based on beyond a reasonable doubt and a 12-0 verdict we face."

Collins was released from custody without restrictions. His release from parish prison states, "general release."

"Surely we see people over and over and over again, shooters and multiple shooters," Moore said. "People who have killed and killed in the past may kill again. It's that five percent and six percent that drive all of the crime for the country and Louisiana."

Five months ago, Police Chief Murphy Paul expressed his frustration with what his officers were dealing with on the streets.

"We've dealt with him before, the same individuals," Paul said. "That is what I hear from my officers. We arrest them and have to deal with them again... Shooting and murders, what's right about that?"

Collins case fits right in with what the chief was talking about. As police say their murder investigations are cleared with Collins' arrest, Moore says differently.

"His case is open and active," Moore said. "Anyone who wants to hear or listen in the bottoms or anyone associated with him, those cases are active and open and they are continuing to be investigated."

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