Warrant: Suspect shot Chapel Hill senior over stolen marijuana


TYLER, Texas (KETK) – A Chapel Hill high school senior was murdered because he stole marijuana from the suspect hours before his death, according to an arrest warrant obtained by KETK News.

17-year-old Zane Collier was shot and killed in his driveway just after 3:15 a.m. Thursday morning north of Tyler. The Smith County warrant states that John Edward Sparks, 18, confessed to the crime in an interview with police the following day.

According to the warrant, Collier and a friend went to Sparks’ mobile home where they robbed him of the marijuana by reaching through an open window and taking the baggie it was in. Sparks saw them take the drugs, got in his car, and went to Collier’s house because he was “very angry.”

Collier, two friends, and his sister spent the next three hours in an SUV parked in his driveway watching movies on their phone and smoking the pot.

Sparks parked down the street where he would not be seen, got out, and waited nearby for nearly two hours to confront Collier alone, according to the warrant.

He told police that when the friends started to leave or go back into the house, he loaded his 9mm handgun and demanded Collier return the weed to him.

The warrant states that Collier was “frozen with fear” and that Sparks fired at a friend who ran back to the house before he shot Collier.

Sparks told police that he initially believed that he did not hit Collier until he fell to the ground by the SUV. The warrant stated that Collier suffered two gunshot wounds, one to his left bicep and one to the neck.

Sparks then ran back to his car and drove away. Multiple home security cameras captured Sparks’ vehicle leaving the scene with one witness saying it drove away at a “high rate of speed.”

In his confession to police, Sparks admitted that he then drove to a nearby Chevron gas station and washed his hands. He said that he cut himself while firing the weapon.

The warrant does not mention if the handgun that Sparks used was family-owned. Under Texas law, you must be 21 to purchase a handgun unless you are in the military.

Sparks is currently being held in the Smith County Jail on a $1 million bond.

Editor’s Note: This story has been edited to show that to purchase a handgun, you must be 21. The original story stated that the law was changed last year. We regret the error.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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