Inmate dies in out-of-state prison

Collins involved in 1997 murder of WSP guard



By Trudy Balcom

CHEYENNE — A Wyoming State Penitentiary inmate who was involved in the murder of a local corrections officer recently died in an out-of-state prison.

According to a press release from the Wyoming Department of Corrections, Bryan Collins, 45, died April 29 at an unnamed out-of-state prison.

The release states WDOC is awaiting investigation results and a final autopsy report. The agency stated “foul play is not initially suspected” in Collins’ death.

Collins was sentenced out of Carbon County March 19, 1999, to a life sentence for felony murder and attempt to escape. He was also given a consecutive nine to 10 year sentence for conspiracy to escape.

Collins was involved in the stabbing death of Cpl. Wayne Martinez, who was killed by two inmates in an escape attempt in June 1997.

Collins, along with Richard Dowdell and James Harlow armed themselves with homemade knives and attacked the shift command office where Martinez was on duty, a June 27, 1997 Daily Times article stated.

That article stated Harlow and Dowdell were both serving time for previous murders in 1997. Harlow was involved in two slayings in Rock Springs, one of which involved a classmate of his at Rock Spring High School.

Collins’ record was the least violent of the three, but Daily Times news accounts state that he admitted to participating in the Martinez slaying.

Collins’ trial was held in Albany County.

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