Corning Man Indicted for Murder, Rape of Neighbor
CORNING, NY (WENY) -- A Steuben County grand jury has indicted a Corning man after the August 5th murder of his neighbor at their apartment complex.
Twenty-nine year old Brett Heffner has been indicted on charges of first degree murder, second degree murder, first degree rape, second degree burglary, two counts of first degree falsifying business records, and fourth degree grand larceny, among other charges.
According to the grand jury indictment, Heffner allegedly killed Keli Collins "while he was in the course of committing or attempting to commit" rape.
Heffner is also accused of remaining in Collins' apartment after her murder, with the intent to commit larceny, as well as making false statements to Hornell and Corning police in an attempt to hide the fact that he allegedly sexually assaulted Collins.
Additionally, the grand jury indicted Heffner on charges of fourth degree grand larceny for the theft of Collins car after the murder, third degree criminal possession of a weapon, for the use of a paracord to strangle Collins, and petit larceny, for allegedly stealing items from Collins apartment.
Collins was found dead inside her apartment in the early morning hours of August 5th. Heffner was found a short time later in Collins' car in Hornell, where he was arrested. Both Collins and Heffner live at the same apartment complex, Stewart Park apartments in Corning.
"The indictment handed up by the Steuben County Grand Jury today includes the most serious offense chargeable under New York State law, Murder in the First Degree, based upon evidence that not only did the Defendant intend to kill Keli Collins, but he intended to and did forcibly rape her as well. Though the Defendant must be presumed innocent at this juncture, the charges contained in this indictment set forth allegations of truly horrendous conduct by the Brett Heffner," said Steuben County District Attorney Brooks Baker.
Heffner remains in the Steuben County jail without bail. He will be arraigned on the charges in Steuben County court at a later date.