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Man accused of three murders released from jail due to lack of evidence

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BATON ROUGE – A man accused of murdering three people did his own legal work from a jail cell, successfully arguing he should be released after a delay in court procedure.

Dexter Collins was released from jail custody recently, the WBRZ Investigative Unit learned, after showing what equates to formal charges – called a bill of information – were not filed within 60 days of arrest as required by law.

An accused hit man, Collins has been implicated in three different murders dating back to 2008.  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."

Moore said although the investigation remains open, there is not enough evidence right now to prosecute Collins. Although investigators believe Collins is responsible for three murders, cutting him loose could make the streets a little more dangerous now.

"Everyone has to use caution wherever they are," Moore said. "People know what goes on. We need help from the people. So sure, I think everyone should always be cautious dealing with someone they know.”

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