Theodore High football coach in court for assault charge stemming from Bayou La Batre brawl

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BAYOU LA BATRE, Ala. (WKRG) –Theodore High School football coach and athletic director Eric Collier was in court today for an assault charge stemming from a fight at the Bayou La Batre docks on May 8.

Also in court today with Collier were three of his family members — Eric Collier Jr., Sean Collier and Hayden Collier, all charged with misdemeanor assault for the Mother’s Day brawl.

All the charges stem from a fight involving Collier’s son. Police say the Collier group had an altercation earlier that day with some people at Dauphin Island and attacked them when their boat came into Bayou La Batre.

Collier’s attorney was seeking Stand Your Ground and immunity in the case, saying Collier was acting in self-defense.

One witness called Wednesday, who didn’t know anyone in the case, says he was just getting back to the docks from a day of fishing, and from what he saw, he says those on the boat were the instigators. Other witnesses said the Colliers had been waiting for at least 30 minutes before the boat arrived.

Judge Mims showed confusion and had questions as to why they were there in the first place. Melissa Collier, Collier Sr.’s mother-in-law, said they were there to check on Collier Sr.’s son Grant from a previous fight on Dauphin Island. The driver of the boat, Hunter Hinton, said the Colliers were sending threatening texts to those on the boat, saying they would fight them once they reached the docks.

Mentioned multiple times as well someone pulled a gun and fired shots in the air, that’s when was when the fight dispersed. The question of who initiated the brutal battle is still up in the air.

Dennis Knizley, Eric Collier’s attorney says he feels confident in Wednesday’s proceedings: “It was clearly illustrated that coach Collier was jumped on and beat up — anything he did was defending himself. The victim in the case, Hunter Hinton, said in the last part of his testimony, ‘I have no fight with the man (that) attacked by my buddy, Mr. Martin.’ I think it was clear as a bell.”

Judge Mims says he will reschedule to hear more before a decision is made. The date for the rest of the witness hearings has yet to be set.

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