Man charged with murdering woman after claiming possible intruder at home

HOUSTON – Christopher Michael Collins, 41, was charged with murdering his wife six days after she was found dead at the Cypress family’s home. Detectives said Yuan Hua Liang, 46, died on Nov. 18 from a single gunshot wound to the head.

During a hearing on probable cause, a prosecutor said investigators said Collins had asked Harris County sheriffs to check his wife at their home in the Westgate borough. Detectives said Collins claimed he received a text from his wife while he was at the gym and going for a bite to eat.

“The text said that someone was outside the home, the defendant stated that he texted the complainant back and she did not respond,” a prosecutor told the court.

Detectives said Collins arrived at the house after officers and let them in through the front door.

“The officer stated that once the front door was open, the defendant stood in the doorway for several seconds,” the prosecutor said.

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Deputies said Collins’ wife was found shot to death in the living room and a cloth bag had been placed over her face.

“(There were) no signs of intrusion from within. The officers saw that the back door was open and that there were four dogs in the backyard,” said the prosecutor.

Investigators said there were no signs of a struggle inside the home and nothing appeared to have been stolen. Detectives noted that the house was equipped with cameras that could be viewed remotely. Detectives asked Collins if he checked the cameras after being unable to reach his wife.

‘The defendant said ‘no’, he doesn’t know why he didn’t check it. The defendant stated that he did not know why he did not go straight home. He didn’t know why he stayed at the gym for 45 minutes, it was only 3.5 miles from his home,” the prosecutor said.

Investigators said Collins also told them he was driving a rental car because his car had been impounded. Detectives asked if Collins and his wife had life insurance and said they didn’t because they missed a payment.

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“Agents who searched the house found a sheet of paper on the desk at the residence. The paper was for a $250,000 life insurance policy,” a prosecutor said. “The officer stated that the defendant and the complainant signed the life insurance paper on November 16, 2021.”

Prosecutors further stated that when investigators asked Collins if there was a handgun in the house, he said there should be a 9mm handgun in the laundry room. Collins told detectives that his wife bought the gun because he didn’t like guns. Collins also told investigators there was no ammunition in the house, although detectives later found a .22 caliber bullet in his pants.

Detectives said the coroner ruled that Liang’s cause of death was a single gunshot wound to the head from a small-bore weapon. She had no other injuries. The prosecutor stated that the riot police also reported that Liang was wearing a sleeping mask when she was shot and that the brown bag over her face appeared to have been placed there after she was shot.

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Detectives said when they checked the gym’s surveillance video, they saw that Collins only trained for about five minutes, but kept going in and out of the locker room. Investigators said they later found Liang’s wallet, along with her ID, passport, bank cards and cash, in one of the locked lockers. Her makeup bag was also found in the locker, detectives said.

Detectives said the surveillance video showed that the last time Liang and Collins were at the gym was Nov. 8, and neither appeared to be using the locker rooms. Detectives said gym staff informed them that the lockers were last swept on Nov. 13 and that all items found in the lockers would have been removed and placed in the lost and found property.

Detectives said they were called to the couple’s home two weeks before the murder after a suspicious man was reported in their backyard. No other details were given about that incident. The prosecutor said on the day of the murder, investigators also interviewed a witness “who heard two individuals arguing from the direction of that house.”

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Collins was not present at the probable cause hearing, the magistrate stated that he was undergoing a mental health evaluation while in prison. His bail was set at $150,000 and he remains in the Harris County Jail. Prosecutors asked for a $200,000 bond, writing, “The defendant killed his wife with a firearm and then went to great lengths to make it look like she had been killed by an intruder.

Copyright 2021 by KPRC Click2Houston – All rights reserved.

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