Original trial: McCollum, defendant in LCC slaying takes the stand

Claude McCollum Lawsuit

Original trial: McCollum, defendant in LCC slaying takes the stand

February 14, 2006

Facing life in prison in the death of a popular Lansing Community College professor, Claude McCollum took the witness stand Monday in his own defense.

“Did you have anything to do with Carolyn Kronenberg’s death?” defense attorney Lee Taylor asked during the ninth day of testimony in the Ingham County Circuit Court trial.

“No, I did not,” McCollum, 28, testified, leaning into the microphone. “I did not kill her.”

McCollum, of Lansing, is charged with felony murder and first-degree criminal sexual conduct in the Jan. 23, 2005, slaying of 60-year-old Kronenberg, of Gladwin, an LCC professor for 25 years.

The student development instructor was beaten, strangled and sexually assaulted in her classroom.

It was the first homicide on LCC’s campus.

Prosecutors contend McCollum – a campus vagabond who regularly slept in campus buildings – was her killer.

McCollum testified Monday that he would consider himself a homeless person when the crime happened.

Testifying for two hours against his attorney’s wishes, McCollum said that interviewers suggested details to him.

He said police suggested to him both the location of the slaying and that Kronenberg and her assailant struggled before her death.

Police have said they interviewed McCollum two days after the killing and that, using the hypothetical situation that he was sleepwalking, McCollum proved to know facts about Kronenberg’s death that only her killer would know. They included the location of her classroom, that she was found in a skirt and that she received a severe blow to the head before falling near her desk.

McCollum testified Monday that he had never seen Kronenberg before his interview with police and, when going along with their questions, already had heard CATA bus drivers and LCC employees talking about the slaying and rape.

Laron McCollum said the jury needed to hear his brother’s testimony about the interview and what he considers suggestive material rather than relying on a transcript of the question-and-answer session with police.

Reference Link: http://archive.lansingstatejournal.com/article/99999999/NEWS01/101280005

Claude McCollum Lawsuit