Closing arguments begin in trial of man accused of killing security guard in 2013

Nathaniel Payne-Collins, 22, accused of ambushing guard during robbery

By Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor, Liane Morejon - Reporter

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. - Closing arguments began Friday in the trial of one of four people arrested in the 2013 murder of an apartment complex security guard in southwest Miami-Dade.              

A minor issue arose in the morning as a juror said that she saw the defendant's and the victim's photo on the news during her lunch break the previous day, but the judge allowed her to remain on the panel.

Meanwhile, the state began its closing arguments, saying that Nathaniel Payne-Collins, 22, should be convicted even if he wasn't the person who pulled the trigger.

"Even though we've proven to you beyond a reasonable doubt, you want to sit here and say, 'You know what, I don't think he was the shooter.' It doesn't matter, because he was involved. He was still a principle at the end of the day," the prosecutor said. "I'm confident that you will be able to see the big picture, which is that that man is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of first-degree murder and armed robbery."

Miami-Dade police said Payne-Collins and three other men ambushed Robert Nelson Aug. 17, 2013, as the security guard sat in his car. Police said they pulled him out of his vehicle and went through his pockets, taking his gun, ID and credit cards.

Police said the suspects shot him multiple times.

Nelson was taken to Kendall Regional Medical Center, where he died.

The others arrested in the case are Gregory Lewis, Malik Mills and Quintin Vicks.

Lewis accepted a plea deal and is serving 10 years in prison. He testified Thursday against Payne-Collins.

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