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Slain officer's widow reacts to life sentence for Brandon Portillo

Slain officer's widow reacts to life sentence for killer
Posted at 6:47 PM, Apr 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-27 23:47:00-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Nueces County court issued a life sentence in prison to Brandon Portillo on Wednesday, for driving drunk and causing the accident that killed Corpus Christi Police officer Alan McCollum in January 2020.

His widow said the verdict was a relief.

"I do believe justice was served," Michelle McCollum said.

But the sentence fell short of satisfying another emotion.

"I don't know if I'm ever going to have closure honestly," she said. "My daughters and I are now entering in our new reality and our new future because of Brandon's decision, but I'm not sure if anybody's going to have closure. I know I'm going to take this with me until the day I die. It's affected me forever."

McCollum says Portillo never said he was sorry for taking her husband's life.

Still, she and her family are doing their best to move on.

"My daughters and I forgive Brandon, but we don't forgive or forget what he did — his actions," McCollum said. "He's a human being like we are, but we do forgive him."

Now that her husband's killer is headed to prison, McCollum can focus on finding her closure.

She and the couple's 12-year-old daughter left Corpus Christi for the East Coast around Christmas of last year because of bad memories surrounding Alan's death.

But there are plenty of good memories, too — like no matter how crowded a room was at a party, the McCollums' eyes always seemed to meet each other.

"No matter where I was at, he could always find me, and I could always find him," McCollum said. "He'll always be my best friend. No matter what, until the day I die, he'll be my best friend."