The story behind the fatal shooting of popular Bluffton restaurateur Jonathan Cherol — including details about drug arrests, alleged affairs and ruled-out suspects — is being featured on the Oxygen television network’s “Killer Couples.”
Cherol, a 33-year-old who was part owner of Pepper’s Old Town, was shot in the head on the back porch of his home in the early morning hours of Oct. 28, 2015.
In interviews with Bluffton Police Department spokesperson Joy Nelson, Detective Baker Odom and Capt. Joseph Babkiewicz and with Kimberly Smith of the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, the episode pieces together a timeline of the night Cherol was killed and the investigation that followed.
The show also includes actual police interrogation footage and reenactments of parts of the investigation.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Island Packet
Sam and Colette Collins, also of Bluffton, were arrested in the slaying about a month after Cherol’s death.
After an October 2017 trial, Sam Collins was found guilty of murder and was sentenced to 50 years in prison. Colette Collins was sentenced to 15 years in prison the following January after being found guilty of accessory after the fact to murder.
The “Killer Couples” episode about the case premiered last Sunday. It is scheduled to be broadcast again at 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14, and 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15. It also is available for cable subscribers on the Oxygen network’s website.
The television episode focuses on the Collinses’ relationship and the suspicions and jealousy that led to the slaying of the man who was their friend.
In one of the extra video clips included with the episode on the Oxygen network’s website, Smith talks about the shock felt in the community after the slaying.
“No one knows why, no one knows who. ... There’s no explanation, so it was very frightening,” the prosecutor said in the video.
“There’s no reason that it should have happened,” Smith said. “This isn’t a drug deal gone bad. It’s not people with guns fighting. It’s a guy sitting there, and out of nowhere, is shot in the head.”
The murder case also was featured on an episode of the Investigation Discovery series “Murder Calls” last July.