An Upstate man was sentenced in court to 50 years behind bars on Wednesday.
Tenth Judicial Circuit Solicitor David R. Wagner said an Oconee County jury convicted Kenneth Strother Collins of murder, kidnapping and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime in Oconee General Sessions Court.
A judge sentenced Collins to 30 years for murder and 20 years for kidnapping, to be served consecutively, said Wagner. Collins will also serve 5 years for the weapons charge, concurrently.Coroner says victim was stabbed in back at Walhalla home
According to court records, Collins met Jeremy Little and 2 other individuals on January 12, 2015 at an apartment in Walhalla and purchased some methamphetamine from Little. Collins and Little were going to meet up later so that Little could get the rest of the money for the drugs, from Collins.
Court documents said sometime after 1 a.m. on January 13, Little arrived at an address in Walhalla where he'd planned to retrieve money and smoke methamphetamine with Collins and others int the residence.
Witnesses said when they came into the house, Collins was "in a rage, brandishing a large knife and accusing Little of being a law enforcement informant." During his rage, court documents say Collins stabbed Little, kicked and stomped him in the face, and as he lay on the floor, stabbed Little once more in the back as a witness watched.
Then, reports say witnesses were forced to help Collins clean up the crime scene, and Little was stripped, gagged, bound and stuffed inside of rugs and other materials while he was still alive. Collins had planned to hide the victim's body in the attic but law enforcement arrived before he could hide Little.
Though he claimed self-defense in this case, witness testimony and forensic evidence proved otherwise.
Solicitor David Wagner released a statement on the trial:Kenneth Collins committed a savage attack on Jeremy Little. Jeremy Little begged for his life and Collins continued to brutally assault and stab him. Then, in a final brutal act, Collins stripped Little, bound him, gagged him and stuffed him in a bag while he was still alive in an attempt to hide his crime. Collins now has 50 years in prison to reflect on his crimes and how many people have been hurt because of his actions. Unfortunately, this will not make up for the loss of Jeremy Little to his family members and friends. However, it will prevent Collins from hurting or possibly killing someone else. I would like to thank Oconee County Sheriff's Office and Walhalla Police Department for the excellent work done on this case.RELATED: Coroner says victim was stabbed in back at Walhalla home Warrants: Suspect held on murder charge accused again of assaulting office Copyright 2017 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.