A mother was forced to sit and watch a home invader saw off her young son and daughter’s heads before he murdered her too.
Five-year-old A’Laylaih Fisher was stabbed 20 times before alleged killer Michael Collins, 26, tried to remove her head.
Collins is then said to have stabbed A’Layaih’s four-year-old brother Elijah 14 times before decapitating him at the family’s home in Little Rock, Arkansas, in December 2017.
The youngsters’ stricken mother Mariah Cunningham, 24, was allegedly held down by Collins’ accomplice William Burnell Alexander, 23, and forced to watch before she too was stabbed to death.
Prosecutor Barbara Mariana revealed the horrific details during the opening day of Collins’ capital murder trial Wednesday.
She told jurors it had only taken him 20 minutes to ‘annihilate’ Mariah and her children after he and half brother Alexander robbed the family’s apartment.
Jurors at Pulaski County Court heard how the family had been slaughtered just for a TV, Xbox and Cunningham’s broken-down Honda, which was abandoned shortly afterward.
Collins and Alexander, who will stand trial next month, are said to have mistakenly believed the mother was wealthy.
Collins had previously lodged with Mariah, with Mariana telling jurors the killings were ‘designed to cause the most unimaginable terror…all because (Mariah) couldn’t give him what he wanted.’
Despite a capital murder charge carrying a maximum sentence of death, Collins will not be executed if convicted, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.
The court heard how Collins fled to Chicago after the killings, with local cops directing US Marshals to an address where he was staying.
There, federal agents are said to have found the suspect asleep on a couch, next to a pair of Adidas trainers splattered with his alleged victims’ blood.
Collins was taken into custody – and is then said to have confessed to what he’d done to a fellow inmate after claiming Mariah’s ghost had haunted him.
That cellmate – bank robber Marino Bernard Scott, 47, came forward to police to share how Collins had been wracked with guilt by what he is accused of doing.
Prosecutor Marinara said: ‘Like any good mother, Mariah fought and fought, and then she haunted him in his dreams.’ Collins has denied the charges he faces, with his defense attorney Katherine Streett yet to unveil his version of events.
The trial continues.