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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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First, you must have missed the part where this was an accident. Then you must have skipped over the part where it was in self defense. Someone throws a punch at me you can bet I WILL react. I assume if I throw a punch at YOU, you would just coward down and cry in a little ball, right? I am not ONE BIT surprised that there is underage drinking in college. When I drank though I understood the consequences of my actions and ensured I wasn't so drunk to the point of making STUPID decisions. I also left parties when drugs came out because something could happen I didn't want to be involved with. The SADDEST part of this whole thing are the college kids that are in total denial of the facts and letting their emotions blind out common sense. If you didn't learn the lesson from this, you will be back out drinking, getting drunk within a few weeks, getting high and this death will have meant NOTHING. You can be mad all you want. FACTS...he was drinking, he was on prescribed medication AND was doing...ILLEGAL drugs...all of those things contributed to the outcome. If you don't think those things contributed to his death, you are in denial because they ABSOLUTELY DID!

Actually hit?

Was Collins actually hit by Flinn? I've read the reports that Flinn stepped in to help his friend, but was a punch thrown? Recently, a man came up to my brother and punched him in the face. I was standing nearby, so I stood between them and put my hands up to stop the other guy from hitting again. Guess what? He hit me, and I'm a woman. Flinn may have been trying to stop the fight. He, in no way, deserved what happened to him. Sadly, the police did nothing about the man that hit me. I think a lot of times, the police will disappoint because they just don't care enough.

i dont think race played any

i dont think race played any factor in deciding whether or not to persecute collins. if you look at the facts of the case it was a complete accident. his friend got into a fight so flinn jumped in and got punched. collins did not mean to kill him, he was defending himself. i feel sorry for his friends and family that something like this could happen but it was not murder, it was a fight.


Gary Rumer was killed in our jail and no one has been charged. Peyton Strickland was murdered and no one has been held accountable. I guess it depends on who is doing the killing as to who gets charged. It's easier to blame the dead. Partial birth abortion anyone?


Ol'e Peyton had HIMSELF to blame for the events leading up to his death as well. Had he not been a THUG and rolled someone for a PS3, he would have been partying last weekend. Consequences, consequences, consequences....SELF RESPONSIBILITY and consequences.

Peyton and the 7969 guest' s invalid info

Sorry there, Guesty Poo, Peyton did not roll someone over for a Playstation. Consult the facts given, please:))) And furthermore, he was no thug, silly Guest. Come on, now, y'all. Geeez. The point was simply to be the "similarities" of those mentioned uncharged homicides in the city. Please do not take the matter's attention to Peyton.... there are complete forums for him, and the other deaths, as well. This forum is for the LATEST VICTIM ONLY> Thank you in advance, Shannon

Yes he did

Oh yes, peyton was very much involved in the UNCW robbery. Remember, there was parking lot video of him participating. He was also a punk thug. He broke Nathan Harrington's jaw, then called to harass him telling him not to cooperate with the cops. People that don't commit crimes don't have the police show up at their door. This forum is for anything we feel like posting, so get over it.

Actually, your wrong......

Peyton did steal a playstation...quit spreading lies. Second, this fight has nothing to do with him or Rummer or anyone else. This guy got himself killed by associating with the individuals identified already. That is about the only similarity between the two. No murder occured, and yes his participation with alcohol, drugs (prescribed and non prescribed) as well as violence resulted in his life being lost. Third, there has only been one (1) uncharged murder in the city in the last two (2) years. It occurred in the hood. Get your facts right before you post ignorant comments. Peyton and Rummer were NOT homicide investigations. Case closed. *****Pbsgirl01 has posted numerous incorrect, unsubstantiated and outright lies in reference to these cases in the past. Take what she says with a grain of salt, like a Michael Moore documentary.*******

Last time I checked,

Last time I checked, stealing a PS3 didn't carry the death penalty.

Found guilty

One would also have to be found guilty in court before any sentence was recommended.


You are right it doesn't. But that single action set in motion the event that led to his death. I don't think he deserved to die over something SO STUPID...but he made a decision to be a THUG and role someone. Had he not participated in that one single act, he would be alive today. CONSEQUENCES...and you kids are still in DENIAL!

You're an old objective

You're an old objective bastard who could give a damn about how terrible it is for us "kids" to have lost a friend. I guess we just have no morals or ethics so you can call us kids. I guess you can call us kids until we are too old to go off to Iraq and die so you keep you're fuckin Medicaid and keep gas in your caddy. Sorry my brain hasn't travelled the whole bell curve like you yet.

"kids" sensitive

If you want to be considered an adult stop using derogatory language especially to an elder. There is no need to be immature and insult other people. Also, Iraq has nothing to do with this. You are probably repeating something you heard from one of your professors. I also don't think you understand what a bell curve is. I heard it used incorrectly this past week by a high schooler so I do not know why this phrase is suddenly so popular.

To my White Population:

We need to stop blaming over races for our faults and problems, we have been doing this from the very start of American Colonialism. Sam was on Xanax, not to be takin while consuming alcohol, and he was high. You cant compare it to the Jena 6, because no one was under the influences of "drugs" at Jena High.... Period As much as I love the advancement of my white people, i love to see the advancement of All Races. It hurts me to see my fellow white brothers saying such slanderish racial remarks. I would punch my own white brother if he were attacking me in a harmful manor, that is just human instinct and we can not fully say what we would do unless we were in that situation. So We must stop Monday Morning Quarterbacking from our computers and get the facts from the DA at the UNCW Homepage, and then express our thought intelligently

USA Sucks, You have some

USA Sucks, You have some nerve to use the word ignorance in your statement. You are the poster child for ignorance. It is bad enough that we live in a society where violence is so real that young people are losing their lives. I am afraid for the life of my child knowing that there are people like you walking around. I pray everyday that my child will never find herself in the company of people like you. Pray for yourself USA that God will enter in to your heart and change the way you feel about HIS CHILDREN that he created with a different color of skin. How special you must feel because you are what, white? IT IS JUST A SKIN COLOR STUPID!!!!!!!!

So, when are you moving to

So, when are you moving to France?

Hard to believe self-defense

The guy was on Xanax and Marijuana? Yeah I'm sure he ws really in the mind set to want to fight...

Alcohol, Pot, and Xanax

The above mentioned mixed together in a a person who is a FOOL would have been the sign something was very wrong with this person. If this young man was perscribed xanax the doctor and the pharmasist would have told him no alcohol or any other drugs without checking with us first. That combo is deadly together. His mind was fried because of it and he chose to get involved in something that was not his business. Kids seem to think because their friends have a problem with something or some one it gives them the right to jump in the middle of it. This kid did and now he is DEAD any time two or more people attack another person it becomes an unfair fight and the one being attacked has every right to defend themselves in a reasonable way as in this case reasonable force was used to repell an attack. It's sad that college students think filling their bodies with every known substance is the thing to do when mommie and daddy aren't watching or did they learn it from them who knows. What we do know is the lives of everyone at that party has been changed forever some will learn form what happened and quit this crap and others will smoke,drink, and take more pills because they are to stupid to realize this could have been them laying on a slab getting carved up by the doctor doing the autopsy. GROW-UP no one is superhuman.

Your post assumes that he

Your post assumes that he was given a prescription for the xanax. Everybody knows that this is a common street drug. Yes, you need a prescription to attain it "legally," but unless this kid had a prescription for it, you can safely assume that he purchased it off the street, probably from the same dealers who sold him the marijuana. Either way, he was taking three controlled substances. If some guy who was high as a kite jumped me, I'd hit him in the jaw too. And for those who think he was beaten to death, did the autopsy provide any evidence that he received any blows except for the ONE blow to the jaw? If so, then this may warrant some further investigation. If not, then yeah, this was a freak accident. It's uncommon, but not impossible for a person to die from a single blow to the jaw. I'm sick of race being thrown out every time there's an altercation of folks with two different shades of skin. I'm sick of racism. I'm sick of reverse racism. I'm sick of affirmative action. I'm sick of all this crap. Grow up, every last one of you, and move on!!!

In response to Mr. Walters,

In response to Mr. Walters, who has chosen to bash Sam and his decision to involve himself in an altercation concerning one of his friends, I am very shocked at your nerve. If you are really trying to say that Sammy should not have gotten involved and helped his friend, then YOU are a coward and have no spine. If someone's friend is in trouble, regardless of the circumstances, any NORMAL person's instinct would be to assist them. Obviously, this is a hard time for many people, as Sam was so loved by everyone he came across and comments like this are really insensitive, especially if you are too ignorant to understand the circumstances surrounding the situation. The toxicology results are irrelevant to the fact that a 20-year-old, who had his whole life to live, is dead for NO REASON. I, as well as many others, am angered by these rediculous comments, blaming Sam and even pinning some of the responsibility on his parents. And by the way, Charles Walters, did you not learn correct punctuation and English in school? Or, perhaps, your brain has been "fried?"

Irrelevant Results

From your response I can see you advocate the use of perscription and illegal drugs together with alcohol. Coming to the aid of someone is fine but, when you jump in the middle of a fight as was stated in the DA's report you take your chances. As I said everyone involved that night has been affected in either a positive or negitive way. I hope the young ladies and gentlemen who were there will take a long hard look at themselves the next time the booze starts flowing and the drugs are passed around and remember the one who was killed that night when he tried to make it a two on one fight. I really don't give a rat's rear end what color they were if he would of had any common sense he would have stayed out of the middle of what was going on, oh but wait he was too wasted to act in a normal rational way. So as you can see the results of blood tests were relevant and you are a FOOL if you think they weren't.

Ben's statement

Click this to read the statement. Ben David statement to UNCW


Race should not play a role in this at all!! Yes, someone's child and friend has DIED, but, we also have to look at it the right way!! He had drugs in his system, which will cause bleeding to the brain faster than someone without drugs, especially at the location he was hit. I am sorry that he died but we all can not say anything unless we were there.

Apparently that has no

Apparently that has no bearing on it at all, because there was a good handful of us that WERE there that were NOT under the influence of drugs and nothing we have said has made a difference anyways. There have been many witness accounts that have just completely been disregarded. The story that has been produced does not add up. Collins AND HIS FRIENDS (that seem to have disappeared from the press release to make Sammy seem more at fault)have already admitted to throwing the first punch, so everything Sam and his friend did was in their own self defense. It took everything the friend had to literally crawl away and come inside to tell us what was going on. As soon as he did so we called the police that very second. This is not a race issue at all. This is someone getting away with murder even if it wasn't intentional, he killed Sam. And i do believe that murder was never intended, but it happened and to get away with it is just saying anyone can get out of murder. It is clear to anyone in their right mind that this story DOES NOT add up. Collins and his friends were NOT sober and they are not completely innocent. This is ridiculous and it does no justice for our friend.

It is apparent that most of

It is apparent that most of the folks here who think the guy should be arrested are kids. The boys parents understand this was a tragic accident that took place. Why didn't Sam's friends help him?? Because they all knew they were drunk (underage drinking) and doing drugs (more illegal activity)... so they all chose to not get involved, they all chose to not help their friend. Everyone should sit back and realize, your actions cause a reaction... and you have to be willing to accept what reactions you cause... good and bad...

you have no idea, no one had

you have no idea, no one had any idea that they were outside and the minute that we knew we did everything in our power to help. we ran out, called the police, and sat with sam not knowing what to do as very little people in that situation would. get your story straight

If you pissed off people

If you pissed off people have evidence that contradicts what has been given to the DA, you should go to him, and not this blog!!! IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY!!!!!!!!!!!


Hell Yea, I completely agree! Why is the "White" Community not out raged? Where are the people filling the streets with signs? Come on....... Where are the "White Power" talking about white pride? Where are the marches?!?! Thats EXACTLY what the "Black" Community would be doing right now! SO I say all those "white people" get together in there neighborhoods, and Riot the streets of wilmington!! HAHAHAHA IF the "Blacks" can do it, Why cant the "WhiteS"



I didn't know it was okay to

I didn't know it was okay to kill someone. I guess any one of us could go out and punch the life out of someone and call it self defense right? I guess its not common for people in trouble to maybe fib a little either. Man good thing the only witness that could get him is dead now, smart thinkin Collins.