FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (NEWS CENTER) — The sister and separated husband of an Army veteran from Maine who is accused of viciously killing a dog in North Carolina say they are shocked and horrified by what happened.
Windham native Marinna Rollins and boyfriend Jarren Heng, an active duty soldier stationed at Fort Bragg, allegedly tied the dog to a tree and took turns shooting it all while filming each other commit the violent crime.
Marinna's sister, Adrianna told NEWS CENTER she called authorities after her sister sent her video of the pit bull being killed. She called it "disgusting."
"I couldn't believe that she had done such a thing, let alone with someone else … and that they had actually videotaped it, and even had the nerve to send me the video," she said. "I could not reply back to her. I did not reply back to her."
It's an act Marinna Rollins' separated husband Matt, who is in the process of filing for divorce from her, said he simply can't understand. He and Rollins graduated from Windham High School one year apart.
"How could someone that I've known for so long who meant so much to me at one point in my life then do something so cruel and malicious?" he said.
Matt, who asked us not to use his last name, claims he adopted the dog and actually named it Huey, which contradicts what Marinna Rollins and Heng told police — they called him Camboui. Matt choked up thinking about the situation.
"I feel so bad for him," he said. "I don't know if you've seen the [video], but he's so scared in the [video] and it kills me how scared and I want – I want justice."
Marinna Rollins and Heng appeared in court Tuesday and bail for both was modified to $25,000 each. Initially, it had been set at $5,000 for Heng and $10,000 for Rollins.
Deployments to Korea and a 'Traumatic Event'
"The last conversation we had she was talking about how her and Jarren were going out to the opera," Adrianna Rollins told NEWS CENTER, commenting on her sister's behavior last week. "They had been going to the beach and hanging out and having fun."
It's still unclear what prompted the couple to allegedly carry out the dog killing, but a timeline of events from the perspective of an estranged husband and details from a close relative could possibly provide clues.
Matt told NEWS CENTER his relationship with Marinna Rollins began about a year after both had graduated from Windham High School. After failing airborne school, Rollins was ordered to Korea in September 2014. Before she left for the year-long deployment, the two got married.
Then-Pvt. Rollins was stationed at Camp Casey in Dongducheon, South Korea, for about four months before being forced home early. Matt said he found out she had cheated on him, so the couple separated in February 2015. Two months later they were back together, but that lasted until October when Matt said he heard again she had cheated on him. They eventually parted ways, still married, with Rollins moving to the barracks at Fort Bragg and Matt moving into an apartment with one of his friends.
During her short time in Korea, Matt said Rollins experienced a "traumatic event." He declined to go into detail about it, but the event was also confirmed by her sister in a Skype interview Wednesday. She said Rollins had told her about it and, due to its alleged severity, her sister was "emotionally troubled" at times.
Matt said Rollins returned from Korea a different person, and in addition to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was diagnosed with four other personality disorders in connection with the incident.
Adoption of 'Huey' and an Estranged Connection
Matt adopted Huey on Jan. 7, 2016, from the Cumberland County Animal Shelter of North Carolina. Just 12 days later, he received orders to deploy to Korea, a similar order Rollins received about 16 months prior.
The now 23-year-old soldier terminated his lease, and his roommate moved into a place that did not allow pets, so Huey's future dwelling was up in the air. Matt said he didn't want to return him to the shelter — he still wanted Huey upon return — but a search for someone to hold him was initially unsuccessful. Despite getting along with children, Matt said Huey was not friendly with other animals, which disrupted a plan to send him up to Maine to temporarily live with a friend from high school who already owned a dog.
That's when he said Rollins reached out — the first time the two had spoken since separating three months prior — and they established a "civil friendship." Matt said Rollins begged him to let her watch Huey for the year, and he finally agreed, leaving shortly thereafter for Korea on March 5, 2016.
A divorce was in the works between the former couple, but under North Carolina law, "marriages may be dissolved … if and when the husband and wife have lived separate and apart for one year."
Following his deployment, Matt said Rollins started dating someone who had her going to church every Sunday and seemingly was a good fit for her. The Army soldier said he would see photos of the couple with Huey on Facebook looking happy together.
Matt said he thought the presence of Huey, along with the structured influence of her new boyfriend, would help her "overcome the demons she deals with on a daily basis," referring to the aforementioned traumatic event.
Six months into his deployment, Matt said Rollins told him on the phone she had changed Huey's microchip from Matt's name to hers and registered him as an "emotional support animal." He said Rollins told him she had become attached to the animal and wasn't going to give him back.
All seemed great, Matt said, until Rollins received medical retirement from the Army on Dec. 6. That's when he said Rollins started drinking, smoking weed and "going wild," breaking up with her boyfriend right before Christmas and beginning a new relationship 1-2 weeks later with Jarren Heng.
Matt claims Heng thinks he's "the most important person in the world," and is very controlling of Rollins. "I've listened to the way he talks to her and it's disgusting," Matt said. "Her attraction to Jarren is that they share similar personalities, and she identifies with that." He believes Heng started to have a problem with the continuing contact the still-married couple shared, and also grew a hatred for Huey during this time.
Matt returned to the U.S. in late February and was in Maine for most of March. He was supposed to return to Fort Bragg on March 23 but stayed an extra week to attend the services of a close friend who took his own life. Matt said he went to see Huey the day after his return to North Carolina and the dog was "really happy" to see him.
During a meeting on base between Rollins, Matt and a medical services professional concerning spousal health care, Rollins brought Huey up to Matt and asked if he wanted the dog back. Matt, who had just moved into a place where pets weren't allowed, said he was disappointed with Rollins not telling him sooner. He said had he known he could get the dog back he would've gone elsewhere instead.
Events Leading Up To and Following the Dog's Death
On April 15, Matt saw a post online from either Rollins or Heng asking if anyone would take Huey. Matt said he reached out to Rollins suggesting they take him back to the shelter. Shortly after, Matt said Rollins told him they had done just that – taken the dog to an adoption clinic. Little did he know, the dog was killed between April 16-17.
On April 19, Adrianna Rollins sent authorities video she had received from her sister, allegedly showing Marinna Rollins and Heng killing the dog. Later that day, the county animal control officer interviewed Marinna Rollins and reported the incident to the sheriff's office.
On April 24, Matt said he received a call around noon from Rollins, who sounded belligerently drunk. She told him she needed to go to jail and that she might hurt herself. Matt met her there and quickly realized what had happened to the dog.
A wild scene ensued, with Rollins allegedly throwing things, wiping ice cream on her face and threatening the use of a razor on herself. Matt said he eventually was able to get a person nearby to call 9-1-1, and when police arrived, they brought her to a local hospital and she was put on suicide watch.
Heng surrendered himself to authorities sometime that day, and Rollins was met by police at a hospital the next day and turned herself in. Both are at Cumberland County Jail in North Carolina.
Matt said, as far as he knows, none of Marinna Rollins' family members plan to contribute to her bail. It is unknown whether Heng will find help meeting his amount.
Matt also claims neither Rollins or Heng owned a rifle, and that the firearm used in the alleged video was purposefully purchased to kill the dog.
As for who actually owned the dog before it died, it's still not clear. Police documents state it was Rollins' service pet. As mentioned above, Matt was told by Rollins while in Korea that she updated the dog's microchip to reflect her ownership and registered the dog as "emotional support animal." Matt said he has since been provided documentation by officials at the Cumberland County Animal Shelter that prove his name is on both the adoption papers and microchip.
"I want people to know Huey's real story – not what they're getting from Marinna and Jarren – someone who actually knows what happened," Matt said. "They're just going to say whatever keeps them in the least amount of trouble."