Police: ECU student killed in self defense

The investigation into the death of a college student over the weekend is over. Sam Flinn's body was found shortly after he got into a fight at a townhome near the UNCW campus. Police know who killed him. The question today is: should the young man who threw the fatal punch be charged with a crime? After days of interviewing witnesses and reviewing evidence investigators say no one will be charged in Flinn's death. Investigators say early Sunday morning one of Flinn's friends started a fight outside of Carleton Place town homes. Detectives say Flinn jumped in and attacked Jeffrey Collins. Witnesses tell officers Collins punched Flinn in the chin, knocking him to the ground, and eventually killing him. New Hanover County District Attorney Ben David said, "Jeffrey Collins was justified in using self defense and he used reasonable force to repel an unlawful attack." Authorities say Flinn was under the influence of alcohol, Xanax and marijuana when he got hit with the fatal punch. Those substances may have also contributed to his death. "This case serves as a very tragic reminder of the dangers of drug use, especially in the very young," David said. David says many of the people involved in Sunday morning's fight were performing illegal activity such as underage drinking and using drugs. Still, he chose not to prosecute them. "It would have a chilling affect on future cases if we were to arrest witnesses for these misdemeanor offenses during a homicide investigation," David said. David had the task of telling Flinn's parents the outcome of the investigation. "The parents agreed that no criminal charges should be filed and expressed the hope that something good could come from their son's death," David said. David plans to work with the chancellor of UNCW to educate students on the dangers of underage drinking. Flinn's funeral is scheduled for Saturday in Clemmons.

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To Start,my heart goes out to the family of Mr. Flinn, this is indeed a tragedy in more ways than one, a life has been taken uselessly and a progressive future destroyed for no real reason. I have read most of the comments made on this story alot have merit when it comes down to responsibility others are just mean and stupid. To cover all aspects of this one needs to be (unfortunatley)cold and objective, in fact race does play a part in this why you ask what started the fight to begin with?. Also Mr flinn did not start the fight simply interviened,poor judgement maybe but not a death offence. Drugs and alchohol big part of the problem most assuredly as was stated in another comment somthing that has been going on since who knows when the dawn of colledge. Justice? theres the question of the day,in the eyes of the court system someone ultimatlt is responsible for any thing that happens in the scope of law. Should charges be filed most definatly,our laws are set up to protect all people undr most circumstances for example, any or all persons involved in this tragedy sould have been charged with assault in one form or another,such as Assault Inflicting Serious Injury NC 14-32.4 affray kinda vauge but there Ethnic Intimidation 14-401.14 and many others that could have been used but were not the question should be why?. The DA made a statement that was rather open ended I guess thats whats known as CYA also if there is the possibility of charges being filed they should be and usually are in cases like this were A judge really needs to make this type of decision when it comes to who is responible not just the chain of command, and do not forget that that we live in a society were its the JUST-US system not always the justice system,there are many things to consider and this case ALL things should be.
I also have been following this case and my heart goes out to Sam's family and friends. Drinking and smoking pot is going on in high schools and colleges, its been that way for decades. That does not mean kids are bad kids or they deserve to die. Those kids could of walked away from from Reece and all Sam did is to try to help his friend. Where does it say he punched anyone, where does it say any of those 3 or 4 kids where hurt. How is helping a friend and getting murdered, and yes it is murder when you take a life, justify letting Collins get away with murder? Did Collins go to the funneral and show any remorse? I think the cops are 100% wrong, he needs to pay for his actions and that punch had to be pretty hard to kill him. I don't know if this has anything to do with race, but in my mind, it does not matter if your black, white, green or anything else, if you take a life its murder and you should be punished. This should be at least a man slaughter charge. I hope the kid that did this lives in hell for ever.... If he is any kind of man he should stand up and take responabilty for his actions and show some remorse!! I pray for Sam and his family, I pray that justice will be served and once the family is able they will press charges. There needs to be justice for taking a life. If someone drives drunk and kills someone they are charged, this is no different, Mr Collins needs to pay. You are a Murder and how you live with yourself is beyond me. Mr. David if this happened to your kid what would you be doing differently? How come none of the storeies match? Who were the witnesses that saw all this happened? Who was not drinking or on drugs? Did you test Jeffery Collins and his friends? I think if you dig deeper and the police did there job better, the outcome would be different. Its not to late to drug test them all and I think it is wrong to make Sam out to be this person that drinks and does drugs. If you drug tested every student in college I would bet more than half smoke pot and drink.....Sam did not start the fight and he did not deserve to die....Jeffery Collins needs to be punished!!

WOW! You're obviously an angry person. It was a fight... it happens all the time. Josh Collins obviously didn't have intent to kill him. He didn't use a knife or a gun... Freak accident. People that don't deserve to die, die all the time. It's a part of life. Jesus gave his life. Navy SEALs have murdered many innocent people in order to kill a more harmful person. My heart goes out to all the people involved. It's a tragedy.

Guest2 you are absolutely right! I am the parent of a child that was a friend of Sam's and was at the party that night. Sam was an amazing kid who touched so many people's lives. At his funeral, the church was packed to capacity and his hometown greatly feels his loss. The kids who were at the party were with him when he died. They are all devastated. The only thing that could possibly be worse is to watch the way it has been portrayed by the DA and by the media. The kids at the party were from UNCW, and ECU many of them had known eachother since childhood, and most had gone to high school together in Winston Salem. The friend who was outside with Sam, Reece,loved him. Reece invited Collins' group, who were at another party AND WERE DRINKING, to come to their party, they asked them if they wanted to buy concert tickets...it was Collins response to that offer that set this whole thing in motion. The DA and local media have basically blamed Sam and Reece for what happened to Sam that night...portrayed Collins as the victim...I am speechless...What happened to the testimony of Sam's friends? They are devastated by the loss of such a sweet and loyal friend and disillusioned by a system that would allow this false portrayal of events
It was definitely an unfortunate event. There will be problems with punishing Collins, due to the fact that the autopsy report solidifies that Flinn had an aid in his own death (i.e. drugs/alcohol). Those elements are undeniable; irreversible. Yes, this is unfortunate. No one would wish for that to happen. The law won't prosecute someone because of color, or because there is a "feeling" that Collins intended to harm Flinn. Nor does it matter who started the fight and who didn't. Yes, maybe everyone present was drunk, on drugs, etc. That's each individuals OWN fault, not Collins'.
God bless my soul...But in my eyes you should not care if anyone is gay just leave wizzy alone! YOUR THE DAMN REASON WHY LIL WAYNE CANNOT PERFORM IN THE NEWHANOVER SCHOOLS. He has plenty of fans here and if you would have stayed your ass in your own town you would not have been dead...god bless my soulllllll
You have got to be kidding me. Lil Wayne shouldn't be allowed to step foot on any school campus much less perform on one. His material preaches vulgarity, violence, violence on females, and is a known gang member. Is that enough???????

lil-wayne is nt bad he is human just like everybody else .... so u don't need to go by what u here u need to know the person b4 u tawk bout them cuz u have promblems yourself .... u are perfect.

i hope your happy that lil waynes concert is back on in new hanover. sammy will love to see that. but do NOT blame him for the delay or almost cancel of the show. he loved lil wayne and god bless you when you go visit friends from another school.. if thats allowed in your own mind set. i hope that you never lose a friend the way we did. and if you do, i hope you take back the statement you made. just be sure to never leave town, what will happen if you do?
The Wilmington DA is simply scared to stand up to the black community just like every other politician in this town. If anyone says that this story would not be a national issue if this kid was black they are simply lying. The media has covered up the race in this issue from the begining. This story was simply supposed to be pushed under the mat.
After all of the "accounts" from the media and the "findings" from the DA's office via the police, it is easy to see how Hitler succeeded in taking over an educated industrial country. Don't believe everything you read or see in the media. The facts are not clear since the only witness to rebut 5 liars is dead. So, you have 5 people coordinating their story against one person who was suffering from a concussion, had not slept for over 30 hours, had a knot the size of a baseball on his head and had his friend die in his arms. What type of police takes a statement under these circumstances? No race issues but simply no way to rebut liars. This has very little to do with drugs or alcohol but a great deal to do with folk looking to start a fight. How can five folk be scared of one guy offering concerts tickets? If it is self defense, why was that person held and beaten? Self defense? This is about rage not race. You people aren't safe. If everyone is so hung up on the alcohol and drug deal, then make it a dry county if you are really serious about it. Drugs are a convenient excuse here since the victim simply went to defend his friend who had been jumped by two or three scared people. Justice will be up to God but you people need to question more and type less. You are all being manipulated and simply don't realize it.
I don't know why in the world everyone is arguing about some damn race card when the article doesn't even say what race the two guys were! They could both be Finnish or something! Drunken brawl = 1 guy dead No race issues. We all bleed the same blood. Let it go.
If the boy that died was african-american, this would be national news. Until everyone is treated the same there will never be ratial equality. No matter if it is your favor or not, discrimination is wrong.
The 4 attackers were black!
yall show no remorse for a live lost no matter how or what happined it was a tragedy.all you ppl need to show some respect.
Why would we feel remorse? Do you even know what remorse is?? Remorse is an emotional expression of personal regret... that is, the emotion felt by the injurer after he or she has injured someone. Remorse is closely allied to guilt and self directed resentment. SO only the person that did this should feel that emotion. I feel sympathy for his family and sad that another young kid was killed by stupidity.
you need not to feel remorse but respect the people that are sad and grieving. put yourself in the situation. losing a friend sucks. and if you have not been through it, i hope you dont for a long time. it is not easy to get through a young persons death.
OK the kid was under the influence of a potentially lethal combination of drugs. That alone is not smart, not to mention running around Wilmington starting fights. Gee, think the drugs had anything to do with that? Race has nothing to do with it. White, black, asian, whatever...if someone attacks you and you throw a single punch without intent to kill you did nothing wrong. Its called self defense...all you liberal hippies out there can seethe in jealous rage, but it does nothing. Leave it to you to make a whole black/white thing out of this. Looks to me like justice was done.
samuel flinn was prescribed to xanex, in his blood. had drank a small amount compared to the 8-10 beers most college guys drink at parties, and had smoke pot. get off of him. and stop being ridiculous and listening to the every rumor on the street
Did you even read what was written? Not the fight - but the outcome. And if I read correctly both parties were under the influence.
Please , if everything had been reversed,there would have been people crawling out of woodwork to shout racism.No it shouldn't be about race,but believe me,it would have. This would have been blown to a national level! I also believe if charges had been filed,same thing. I'm a realist. I doubt this is over.
All I know about this ordeal is what I have seen on TV and read here in the comments. I didnt know that one person was black and one was white. But I dont think that has anything to do with it. Of course I wasnt there and don't know all the actions that took place. But I do know that theres 2 sides to every story. People get into fights everyday. If this guy (Sam) got hit in the chin I dont see how this could have been an deadly blow. whether Sam's friends want to admit it Sam was just as much to blame as this other guy. It took both of them to fight. For the 2 friends that were on TV saying actions need to be taken. NICE DRAMA ACT. Because I know that if that would have been my bestfriend I would have been bawling my eyes out. There were no tears coming from either one of you. It looked like you were just doing it to get attention.
......the races was because when a black male is involved in the death of a white male it is not news. If it had been reversed and a whitey killed a black then the NAACP, All the local and national News origanizations and the reverends would be screaming bloody murder. The last time I remember this being untrue was the Chase Powell murder and this was only because he was truly a thug and Powell was missing for days promting a following in the news. Sad but true. Anybody who says that race has nothing to do with this is crazy as far as why its not being reported (not the actuall reason for the fight). The headline would have read "Local black college student Murdered by White Teen in Drunken brawl over Concert tickets.
Read all these blogs? What a laugh. This 20 year old man obviously had no business even being a second part in an altercation. Xanax, marijuana, alcohol? Stimulants, anti-depressants- thats a deadly combination alone! This kid may have been a great guy, good friend,etc. however and old scientific theory states- "For Every Action there is a Re-action." That is also Fact. There was an action, Mr. Collins reacted and although the results were unfortunate this could lead to revelation of College Age kids awarness of effects of drug use. I know Mr. Collins personally. He is from a middle class family, from a small town in Rural Eastern NC that most of you probably don't even know exists. Mr. Collins is a well rounded, smart young man who has excelled in atheletics and academics his whole life. Note: He has not the first mark on a RAP sheet. Just think about what he has to live with everyday of his life now. WHat if he is put in this situation again and doesn't react? The outcome? Also if most of you blogging know so much of the incident, why didnt you try to prevent this? Why didn't you hang around? Those questions may never be answered either? To all the left wing liberals, your comments are always amazing when dealing with a controversial issue. As I will stand alone and say this was a fluke- 1 in a millions odds- of being struck on the chin and killed Mr. Collins is not a Murderer. NC General Statues prove that with clauses of someone willingly and intently causing death of another. Please folks, always look at the whole box and not half of it. Put yourself in both sets of shoes and think of the actions and reactions. "If the only tool you provide a man is a hammer, every situation he faces is a nail"
Been awfully quiet in this thread today. Looks like the college kids that were arguing got past one of the stages of healing in major tragedies...DENIAL...Acceptance is the next phase.
Actually, no. Anger is the next phase. Acceptance is the final of five stages of grief. Funny, I know that because I went to college.
I'm not a college "kid" nor am I a student of any kind. I just want to say that I've been following this case with disgust at how narrow minded and ignorant native Wilmington people seem to be on the whole. I moved here 4 years ago and I continue to be surprised how many of you turn a blind eye to tragic situations in favor of pretending it's all ok. I moved here right as your police department was spending thousands to investigate low morale. I hear it's no better now. This town has a long history of cruelty toward those who are different and I suppose that the college "kids" are the one group left that you can all still abuse without being labeled as racist. This man lost his life. Another man took his life. All some of you can talk about is xanax and alcohol and pot. Guess what? If you want to talk about normal... then understand that normally, no one dies when using any of those substances. Thousands of people do the same thing every day and maybe one person is killed in this way. Don't blame the substances for the decision of MEN! I have been sending out resumes to get out of this area. You people have a lot of work to do before you catch up to the rest of the world.
LEAVE..PLEASE GOD LEAVE...take a dozen yankees with you!
Actually, I'm a born and raised southerner from a town much smaller than Wilmington. A town with REAL community values and not fake, pompous, and fickle responses to personal and public tragedy. Don't worry... I, like most of the other educated individuals, will leave your town. We will go back to our true communities that are supportive and encouraging. Though opinions differ in those areas...it spirits growth...not resentment. I get it...you guys are happy being arrogant know it alls who get your giggles bitching about how everyone deserves their up'n'comin's... I'm not here to change you... any of you. I came here to point out another side to a story and found that the majority of posts were just plain ignorant of the facts and totally dripping with rhetoric, propaganda, and the douchebaggery that make your town so wonderful. Be proud Wilmington... be very proud that even fellow North Carolina citizens use your town for vacations and all know they wouldn't be caught dead here otherwise.
Hey Not A College Kid, we will take up a collection to pay your way if you will leave by the end of this week!