New stalking charge filed against Nashua woman

Telegraph photo by DEAN SHALHOUP Kelley Collins, who is charged with felony stalking and was ordered held on preventive detention at her bail hearing Wednesday, speaks with her lawyer, Attorney Jeannie Leader, during the hearing.

NASHUA – City resident Kelley Collins faces felony stalking charges after she allegedly engaged in a verbal altercation with a man she has been ordered to avoid.

After listening to a prosecutor read records of at least two dozen arrests, convictions and court order violations on the “extensive” criminal record of Collins, 46, a Superior Court judge on Wednesday ordered Collins held in jail on preventive detention as her newest case moves forward.

The case stems from Collins’ arrest Tuesday afternoon at a downtown apartment building, where she was allegedly involved in a verbal altercation with a man she is prohibited from having contact with, and must stay at least 100 yards away from, according to the prosecutor.

Collins, of 75 Whitney St., was charged with one count of stalking, which was elevated to a felony because she has previously been convicted on the charge.

Judge Jacalyn Colburn handed down the preventive detention ruling after weighing the words of the prosecutor, Assistant County Attorney Brett Harpster, and attorney Jeannie Leader, who represented Collins at Wednesday’s bail hearing and asked for personal recognizance bail for her client.

“I’m not persuaded that personal recognizance is appropriate for you,” Colburn said, addressing Collins. “It’s very clear to me, you have a long (criminal) history,” she added, citing the numerous stalking-related charges on Collins’ record, along with the allegations Collins, on several occasions, violated her bail orders, her probation and several court protective orders.

Police arrested Collins shortly after responding to the apartment building, where they had been called around 4 p.m. Tuesday to investigate a report of a domestic altercation.

They charged Collins after determining the man she is ordered to stay away from was present, and was arguing with Collins.

The repeated court order violations alleged against Collins played a significant role in Colburn’s decision, the judge said.

“You were in a place you clearly weren’t supposed to be in,” Colburn said. “At this point, I have no confidence you will stay away from this fellow, as you’ve been told to do on multiple occasions,” she said, referring to the alleged victim.

Leader acknowledged her client has a long criminal history, but argued this history “isn’t a reason … to determine that she is dangerous and should be held without bail.”

Collins “cooperated with police,” and there is “no allegation” accusing her of threatening or trying to hurt the alleged victim, Leader added.

Personal recognizance bail would allow Collins to get back into counseling promptly, she said, adding that “a probation officer having oversight of Collins is sufficient, I think, to dissuade any potential danger.

“I don’t believe preventive detention is warranted here,” Leader added.

Colburn said while the altercation wasn’t physical, the fact the man Collins was allegedly arguing with “had to call the police to get you away from him … that, to me, is a dangerous situation.”

A dispositional conference in the matter is scheduled for 9 a.m. June 18 in the Nashua court.

Dean Shalhoup may be reached at 594-1256, dshalhoup@nashuatelegraph.com, or @Telegraph_DeanS.