Court documents reveal new details in Takoda Collins’ case

Al-Mutahan McLean
Caption
Al-Mutahan McLean

Credit: Montgomery County Jail

Credit: Montgomery County Jail

Newly released files show years of abuse suffered by boy.

While Al-Mutahan McLean was at Miami Valley Hospital being treated for a cut lip after a skirmish with police hours after he murdered his son, police said that he started talking to himself.

“Detective (Zachary) Farkas noted that, while at the hospital, McLean was talking to himself and said, ‘he must have drowned because I didn’t beat his (butt) that bad today.’”

This and other revelations were documented in newly released court records connected to the case against McLean, the father who pleaded guilty to killing 10-year-old Takoda Collins. Records in the case had been restricted from public view since March 2020, but were unrestricted after McLean pleaded in his criminal case.

The quote from McLean, 32, can be found in a summary of facts by Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge Dennis Adkins who was weighing whether to suppress evidence in the case. The judge decided that the evidence was legally obtained and will next week decide how long McLean will stay in prison before he becomes eligible for parole.

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McLean pleaded guilty to murder, rape, kidnapping and three counts of child endangerment in the death of his son. He will be sentenced to life in prison and won’t be eligible for parole for at least 40 years and up to 51 years. McLean’s attorney, Michael Booher, declined to comment for this article.

Prosecutors said Takoda suffered years of abuse at the hands of his father. They say he was locked naked in an attic, beaten and abused. In court records, police said Takoda was forced to stand bent over and cross-legged for long periods of time and received a beating by McLean if he stopped.

The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office ruled Takoda died of blunt force trauma in combination with compressive asphyxia and water submersion in a bathtub.

“This was a horrendous case,” Assistant Prosecutor Lynda Dodd said. “This child endured years of ongoing, ceaseless, unimaginable torture.”

Takoda Collins/ CONTRIBUTED
Caption
Takoda Collins/ CONTRIBUTED

The summary of facts also details the skirmish McLean had with police that led them to take McLean to the hospital. Police testified that McLean was making a loud banging noise in a holding room while they were interviewing a co-defendant. They said they found McLean in the room with both fists up as if he was ready to fight.

They said two officers entered the room, the three ended up on the floor before McLean was handcuffed. The incident lasted about 30 seconds.

The court documents recently released to the public also reveal that McLean’s attorneys requested a change of venue and a gag order due to local media coverage about the case, that McLean had filed several motions on his own including asking for a speedy trial and that Montgomery County Children Services, through an attorney with the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office, had sought to keep their records concealed even as prosecutors from the same office had requested to view them for the criminal case.

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The Dayton Daily News and other local media organizations have covered the Takoda Collins case extensively. This coverage is referenced in court documents and brought up as a concern for defense attorneys. First, Michael Pentecost with the Montgomery County Public Defender’s Office requested a change of venue in July 2020.

Then on Oct. 6, 2020, Booher filed a motion for a gag order stating: “As the court is well aware, this case has attracted widespread media attention, including national news coverage and ongoing stories in the local newspaper (including a front-page article in the Dayton Daily News on the date of filing of this motion).”

The gag order was granted and was in effect until Adkins removed it after McLean’s plea.

McLean also wrote to the court twice, once in October 2020 and again in July 2021. In October, he told the judge that he hoped to prove he was innocent and requested a speedy trial. And in both pro se motions, he told the judge that there were issues between him and his attorneys.

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Finally, the court records show prosecutors and defense attorneys requested to view Montgomery County Children’s Services records relating to Takoda Collins and other children in the home. But the children’s services agency filed a motion to prevent that from happening.

Montgomery County Prosecutor Mat Heck Jr. said the prosecutor’s office has a dual role to prosecute felony criminal offenses and serve as the attorney for county departments.

“All divisions within the prosecutor’s office work together to achieve justice for victims of criminal offenses and to protect the county from civil liability,” he said in a statement. “Different divisions of the prosecutor’s office can have different roles concerning a particular case. Such was the situation in the case that you referenced.

“Children’s Services records are, generally speaking, confidential and the prosecutor’s office routinely objects to the release of these records, frequently filing motions to quash subpoenas issued for those records,” Heck said. “The law makes exceptions for the release of these confidential records for use in court hearings and the practice of the prosecutor’s office is to file a request with the court so the court can privately decide what records are subject to release to the prosecutor and the defense for review, but still not released to the public in a given situation.”

“In that way, the interests of justice for the victims and the need to protect the statutory confidentiality for Children Services records can be maintained consistently in these cases,” he said.

McLean is due back in court on Sept. 29 for the sentencing hearing.