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Harford man sentenced in 2013 assault over campaign signs

Kevin R. Collini, also known as Kevin Allen, was sentenced to 15 years in prison after being found guilty of first-degree assault.
Kevin R. Collini, also known as Kevin Allen, was sentenced to 15 years in prison after being found guilty of first-degree assault. (Courtesy of Harford County Sheriff's, Baltimore Sun Media Group)

A Whiteford man, known for his photography and as a host of sports radio shows in the region, could serve nearly 15 years in prison for assaulting a former neighbor in October 2013 over missing campaign signs, although his attorney is trying to get the sentence modified.

In early November, a Harford County Circuit Court jury found Kevin Robert Collini, 56, of the 4000 block of Prospect Road in Whiteford, guilty of first- and second-degree assault, according to court records.

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Collini, better known as Kevin Allen, is a commercial photographer who has done considerable work in the sports photography field and also hosted golf-themed radio shows, according to several people who have been associated with him.

Collini was accused of slashing the chest of Michael Folino, a neighbor in his former apartment complex, with a box cutter.

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Harford Deputy State's Attorney Diana Brooks, who prosecuted Collini, described Folino's wound as "horrendous."

She said Monday that Folino had a 13-inch vertical gash down his chest; 8 inches of it were considered deep. She said 33 staples were required to close the wound.

"His breastbone was visible," Brooks said.

The attack happened Oct. 20, 2013. Collini was living at an apartment complex in the 3200 block of Conowingo Road in Street when he confronted his neighbor, Folino, about his missing campaign signs supporting Jeff Gahler, a Republican candidate for Harford County sheriff, according to court records.

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An initial statement of charges filed by the Harford County Sheriff's Office indicated Collini slashed Folino as Folino was allegedly attacking him with punches, kicks and shoves.

Brooks said that report was incorrect, however, and the deputy corrected it a day later. She said Collini and Folino both gave their versions of what happened in court, but an independent witness corroborated Folino's account.

"Certainly, all of the evidence supported the verdict in this case," Brooks said.

Folino was treated at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore.

The jury issued its verdict Nov. 3, 2014. Collini, who was represented by Assistant Public Defender Howard Greenberg, appeared before Harford County Circuit Court Judge Yolanda L. Curtin on Dec. 2, 2014, for a sentencing hearing.

Curtin sentenced Collini, who pleaded not guilty to both charges, to 25 years in prison, although she suspended 10 years. The charges were merged, and Collini was sentenced on the first-degree assault charge.

He will serve 15 years, minus a 30-day credit for the time he spent in the Harford County Detention Center, including two days after his arrest before he was released on bail, and then the 28 days he spent in jail without bail after the verdict was issued.

Collini must also serve five years' probation once he is released from prison, and he must pay $4,709.09 in restitution to Folino to cover health care and ambulance costs, plus lost wages, as well as $2,627.24 to the Optum/Amerigroup Community Care health insurance firm, according to court records.

Greenberg, Collini's lawyer, filed a sub-curia petition Dec. 22, 2014, to reduce or modify the sentence.

Greenberg noted in the petition Collini "believes that the sentence involved would be a proper subject for reconsideration or modification by this Honorable Court after he has had an opportunity to demonstrate his good adjustment to incarceration and his efforts toward rehabilitation."

Brooks noted that Folino had taken the campaign signs, since they were on his side of a shared driveway in the apartment complex.

"It had nothing to do with who the signs were for," she explained. "Folino thought someone came along and plunked the signs down."

Gahler went on to win his party's nomination and then defeated incumbent Sheriff Jesse Bane, a Democrat, in the November 2014 general election. He was sworn in as Harford's new sheriff Dec. 1, the day before Collini's sentencing.

Greenberg could not be reached for comment Monday.

Gary Rinehart of the Bel Air area, who has been a freelance photographer for about 40 years, said he knew Collini/Allen during the early 1990s when he shot pictures of Rinehart's son wresting with C. Milton Wright High School and a local charity golf tournament during the mid-'90s.

"I didn't know him outside of [photography]," Rinehart said.

Collini/Allen has also been known for his photos of professional athletes and coaches, and Rinehart remembers seeing Allen shooting pictures of Don Shula, the former head coach of the Baltimore Colts and Miami Dolphins, during Shula's last season in the NFL in 1995.

"He was right there front row, taking pictures of Don Shula," recalled Rinehart, who said he saw Collini/Allen on television.

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