Whitesburg KY

Judge sentences Collins to 2-1/2 years in prison

A Democrat man has been sentenced to 2-1/2 years in prison for shooting his best friend to death after an alcohol-fueled argument on July 3, 2007.

The sentence handed down last week to Bobby Gene “Wasper” Collins was the maximum recommended in October by the Letcher Circuit Court jury which found Collins, 38, guilty of reckless homicide in the death of Mark “Bocky” Adams, 38, of Thornton.

Letcher Circuit Judge Sam Wright said the imprisonment of Collins, who lives at Indian Creek, “is necessary for the protection of the public because probation would unduly depreciate the seriousness of the crime.” Wright also credited Collins with the 240 days he had been in jail before the Nov. 25 sentencing hearing.

Collins testified during his trial that he was protecting his own life when he fired a .12-gauge shotgun at Adams, who Collins claimed was walking onto his porch to try to kill him.

Collins said that Adams, who police say was unarmed, had threatened him and started walking toward him after Collins fired a warning shot that he said was intended to get Adams to stop fighting with Adams’s wife.

Collins owned a .410-gauge shotgun, but had borrowed the gun used in the shooting from a friend. There were no eyewitnesses to the shooting.

After the trial ended on Oct. 3, a member of the jury panel told The Mountain Eagle that the jury “could have argued until the cows came home” on the question of whether Collins committed a serious crime or acted in self defense.

Both Collins and Adams had been drinking heavily during the hours before the shooting.

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