A Texas man has been charged for shooting his wife in the head days after they signed a $250,000 life insurance policy.
What happened: In court on Thursday morning, prosecutors said Christopher Collins, 41, went to “great lengths” in staging the murder of his Chinese national wife Yuanhua Liang inside their home in Cypress on Nov. 18, according to ABC13.
- On the day of the murder, Collins reportedly called the Harris County Sheriff’s deputies while at the gym for a wellness check on his wife after she allegedly texted him about a person outside their home, according to KPRC2. He then arrived at their home to open the door for the police.
- “The officer stated once the front door was open the defendant stood in the doorway not moving for several seconds,” the prosecutors said.
- Authorities found Liang dead in the living room wearing a sleeping mask. She was also found with a gunshot to the head, which medical examiners believed to have come from a small-caliber gun.
- “(There were) no signs of forced entry into the home from inside. The officers observed the backdoor was unlocked, and four dogs were in the backyard,” prosecutors said in court.
- The medical examiner’s report also noted the cloth bag covering her head upon discovery. Prosecutors said the detail indicated that the murderer had a “personal relationship” with the deceased victim and “does not want to see their face as they die.”
- Collins underwent a mental health assessment, which prevented him from appearing in court. Held on a $150,000 bond, he is expected to make a court appearance on Monday.
The cover-up: Collins, who was formerly in the military, failed to explain to the authorities why he did not check on his wife through their home security camera, which he often used whenever he was overseas to look after Liang.
- Collins said he did not come home immediately after receiving the text because Liang was purportedly prone to paranoia. Authorities said they had received a call from their home two weeks before the murder about an intruder in their backyard but did not provide further details.
- Investigators discovered Liang’s wallet inside Collins’ gym locker after he told them it went missing. They also found her cosmetic bag, IDs, passport and bank cards. Surveillance footage from the gym showed that Collins had only worked out for five minutes, and he spent 45 minutes walking in and out of the locker room.
- When asked if there were any firearms in the house, Collins said his wife bought a 9-millimeter handgun which she hid in the laundry room. He then told authorities there was no ammunition in their home, but they later discovered a .22 caliber bullet casing in his pants.
- Prosecutors noted in court that authorities found a $250,000 life insurance signed by the couple on Nov. 16, despite Collins’ denial that they did not have one before the discovery.
- A witness also told the authorities that they heard arguments coming from the couple’s home before the murder.