‘Everybody liked him’: Friends remember victim in deadly fight in Wichita

Local

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – An early morning fight two weeks ago has turned into a murder investigation.

Police say 33-year-old Haley Collins of Bel Air died after a fight broke out between him and 35-year-old Steven Speakman.

Speakman is now being held on suspicion of first degree murder.

Friends of Haley Collins are looking for answers after learning police are investigating what led up to the fight that ultimately took Collins life. Those who knew Collins say he was caring, friendly and always smiling.

”He was just a cool guy,” said James Barfield, a friend of Collins. “You know just one of those guys that knew everybody. Everybody liked him.”

Barfield met Haley Collins several years ago when they worked together for a subsidiary company for AT&T. He says they were co-workers for a little more than a year.

“We cracked a lot of jokes and in sales you have to be a people person,” said Barfield. “It always made the time go by faster when I knew he was on the same schedule as I was.”

He says he last saw Collins about two months ago. He’s still in disbelief after hearing the news Collins passed away Thursday from injuries after a fight in a Wichita shopping center parking lot.

“It’s devastating for a young man to lose his life,” said Barfield.

Police said Speakman and Collins got into a fight in a parking lot at 21st and Rock Road around 2 a.m. on August 21. Officers found Collins unconscious with critical injuries. He was taken to a hospital and died Thursday, Sept. 5, two weeks after the fight. Police arrested Speakman, who is now booked on suspicion of first-degree murder.

“I hope justice is served on behalf of Haley and his family,” Barfield said.
Speakman was originally taken into custody on suspicion of aggravated battery. The investigation is ongoing and the case will be presented to the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office. Police said Collins death is the 21st homicide of 2019.

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