BOZEMAN – The Bozeman man who pleaded guilty to killing his wife with a frying pan in January 2017, was sentenced on Monday to 105 years in the Montana State Prison.
Jake Collins entered a plea agreement in August, just ahead of his scheduled trial on charges of deliberate homicide and tampering with evidence.
At Collins’ sentencing hearing in district court Monday, county attorney Marty Lambert recommended a sentence of 110 years for the two counts combined, with an additional two years for a weapons enhancement.
Collins’ defense attorneys recommended a sentence of 60 years for the two counts and two years for the weapons enhancement.
Judge Holly Brown sentenced Collins to 85 years for the deliberate homicide charge, 10 additional years for the weapons enhancement, and 10 years for the tampering with evidence charge. Collins must serve each sentence consecutively with no time suspended.
According to court documents, in January 2017 Collins initially told police he hadn’t seen his wife Crystal Collins since the two had a fight on New Year’s 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 Crystal’s body in the bed of his truck, hidden inside a sleeping bag with bloodied pillows. Children were home on the evening of the attack.
As part of his sentence, Collins must register as a violent offender, pay restitution fees, and he is to have no contact with the family of Crystal Collins.