HARRIS COUNTY, Texas -- In court Thanksgiving morning, prosecutors laid out their case against a man who's accused of murdering his wife, which includes a $250,000 life insurance policy, reportedly signed two days before her death.
In probable cause court, prosecutors said Christopher Collins "went to great lengths" to make it look like his wife had been killed by an intruder.
Collins did not appear in court when his case details were read as he was being evaluated in a mental health unit.
This all happened a week ago in the couple's northwest Harris County home, in the 18000 block of Clayton Bluff Lane.
Investigators said Collins originally called law enforcement from the gym, saying his wife, Yuanhua Liang, had texted him about a stranger in the home.
He met with investigators at the home where Liang was found dead in the living room.
But now, investigators believe it was all an elaborate ruse.
Collins, a former member of the military, and his wife, originally from China, widely share their pets, gardening, and other activities on multiple social media channels.
Investigators say Collins' story of a stranger in their home just didn't match up. They pointed out that the home was not ransacked, and when they went to the gym where he worked out, they said they found some incriminating evidence.
In a locker at the gym, investigators reportedly found Liang's wallet, which Collins had reported missing, and her cosmetic bag, officials said.
Surveillance video at the gym reportedly showed Collins pacing around for 45 minutes, working out for 5 minutes, then going to the café to make a call, according to details revealed in court.
In the couple's home, investigators noticed Collins had security cameras installed. Officers reportedly asked Collins why he didn't check them when his wife sent a text about an intruder. According to investigators, Collins said he would use them when he was out of the country to check on his wife, but didn't think to check them on the day of her murder.
Collins reportedly told investigators Liang was often paranoid , and that's why it took him 45 minutes to get back to the house after she sent worrying texts.
A witness told investigators she heard arguing coming from the home just before the shooting.
Investigators said they also found documents for a $250,000 life insurance policy signed by the couple on Nov. 16, two days before Liang's death.
Collins reportedly told them he was driving a rental car since his vehicle had been repossessed.
Investigators say Liang was shot while wearing a sleep mask and was found with a bag over her head. Prosecutors said this was further evidence against Collins, since covering the victim's face is common when a suspect doesn't want to watch someone they know die.
"Which indicated the bag had been placed over her head after she had been shot. Based on the officer's training and experience, believes the action, which occurs when a person has a personal relationship with a deceased individual does not want to see their face as they die," prosecutors said in court. "Officers who searched the home found a sheet of paper on the desk inside the residence. The paper was for life insurance for $250,000. The officer stated that the defendant and the complainant had signed the paper for life insurance on Nov. 16, 2021."
Investigators said they also found a .22 caliber live round in Collins' pocket. According to the medical examiner, Liang was shot with a small caliber handgun, similar to the .22 caliber bullet found.
Collins is being held in jail on a $150,000 bond. The judge said he must surrender his passport and not speak with any witnesses.
If he makes bond, he will have to wear an ankle monitor and will have a curfew.