BOZEMAN – Jake Collins faces 102 years in prison after pleading guilty to killing his wife with a frying pan in Bozeman on New Years Eve 2016.
Collins was scheduled to go on trial in August for the charges of deliberate homicide and tampering with evidence but chose to take a plea agreement with prosecutors last Friday.
Collins pleaded guilty to deliberate homicide Friday in District Court Judge Holly Brown’s courtroom. The prosecutor said in exchange for Collins’ guilty plea he would recommend 100 years in prison for the charge of deliberate homicide and 2 years for a weapons enhancement. Additionally, the prosecutor allowed a recommendation of 10 years served concurrently for the charge of tampering with evidence.
According to charging documents Collins initially told police he hadn’t seen his wife Crystal Collins since the two had a fight on New Years Eve. Later, Collins admitted to striking her repeatedly in the head with a cast iron frying pan while she lay on their bed and then using a knife to slit her throat. Officers found her body in the bed of his truck hidden inside a sleeping bag with bloodied pillows evidence of the crime. Children were home on the evening of the attack.
Collins is scheduled to be sentenced on October 15.
Reporting by Mallory Peebles for MTN News