Kenny Collins is a death row inmate in Maryland. He’s been an inmate in a Maryland state prison for the last 30 years. For the last 17 years, Collins has been on death row.
However, the facts in Collins’ case is not only shocking, but they are a prime example as to what an injustice case looks like.
Kenny Collins’ Case
In the case of Kenny Collins, there was no eyewitnesses, physical evidence, or even any sort of confessions that would link Kenny Collins to the crime he was convicted of. Collins throughout the last 30 years has always maintained that he was innocent, and he did not commit the crime he was charged with. Even today Collins still maintains his innocence.
Collins conviction relied heavily on the prosecutions three-star witnesses. These witnesses were NOT reliable one bit.
Tony Michie was just one of the witnesses called to the stand. Tony Michie was arrested in this case as well. It was not until Michie stated that it was Kenny Collins who was the actual killer. Michie did this to avoid getting the death penalty for the 1986 murder case of Wayne Breeden.
Rodney Bennett was another witness the prosecution brought to the stand. Rodney Bennett was Tony Michies cousin. Bennett has always been pegged for being Pennsylvania very own habitual liar.
The last witness that the prosecution brought to the stand was their only reliable witness to date. This witness was Andre Thorpe. Thorpe again was another cousin of Michie. However, later, after the case, it was found to be that Thorpe lied while he was on the stand during Collins’ trial.
If the prosecution witnesses were not bad enough, the state of Pennsylvania did not allow any of the vital pieces of evidence that would have to exonerate Collins from this crime.
This same evidence that the prosecution used in Collins’ case also was able to convict another person in the murder case of Wayne Breeden. This evidence that the prosecution used was able to show that one man admitted to the police department just five days after the murder took place that it was him along with Tony Michie who pulled off this crime.
It was not a surprise that Kenny Collins’ did not have the money to hire the best out of the best defensive team. Unfortunately, Kenny Collins defense team was very lackluster. Collins’ defense team did not call any witnesses to the stand. The defense team did not even have any evidence to show the jurors that he was innocent.
Is Kenny Collins an Innocent Man? New Evidence
One phone call had some damning new evidenced that could potentially take Kenny Collins off Maryland’s death row.
This call was made by Andre Thorpe. Remember Thorpe was one of the three prosecution witnesses that later was videotaped when he said he lied while he was on the stand during the Collins’ case. Thorpe stated that he was willing to recant his testimony in Collins’ case, even if this leads to him facing perjury charges.
Even though Collins has always maintained that he was innocent, during this time he was already on Maryland’s death row for 10 years for the 1986 murder case of Wayne Breenen. With no physical evidence, no blood, no fingerprints, no DNA, or even a murder weapon was shown at Collins’ trial. Unfortunately, the case against Collins was solely built on the prosecutions three witnesses and circumstantial evidence.
As we have already previously talked about these three witnesses that linked Collins to this crime were not reliable. As Michie was in on the murder of Wayne Breenen. Which Michie’s first trial ultimately ended with a hung jury, and that’s when Michie arranged a plea agreement which would take away the death penalty for him, if he testified in Collins case.
There are many onlookers that believe with the pressure of the United States Justice System, Michie was under a lot of pressure and that’s why he framed Collins as the one who pulled the trigger.
Over the years, there were many reasons that people doubted the prosecution witnesses in the Collins case. These three witnesses had a lot of contradictory in their stories. All three of them had some sort of gain to see Collins convicted of the crime as well. With Thorpe recanting his testimony, it is nearly impossible that Collins received a fair trial.
Prosecutors Case is Falling Apart
The prosecutor’s case was slowly falling apart. When Thorpe decided he was going to recant his testimony in the case against Collins it was not looking good for them. This was just one of the many nails in the coffin that should allow Kenny Collins, a death row inmate in Maryland to have a new and FAIR trial.
Collins’ lawyer had an interview with Thorpe. This interview was caught on tape. As you already know Thorpe was one of the key witnesses that helped the prosecution team put Collins on Maryland’s death row for the murder of Wayne Breeden. Well, of course, until Thorpe recanted his testimony and told Collins’ lawyer that he was not telling the truth when he was on the witness stand.
However, later, when they were holding a hearing for a new trial, Thorpe decided he was going to refuse to answer any questions while he was sitting on the witness stand. He was pleading with his Fifth Amendment rights. Yet, the court was playing the recorded interview he had with Collins’ lawyer right in front of the prosecution, defense lawyers, journalists, and judge.
This made the case of the prosecution that once convicted Kenny very, very weak. There now was no physical evidence whatsoever linking Collins to this crime. This was because Collins conviction heavily relied on the testimony of these very unreliable witnesses that the prosecution put on the stand.
We already went through that Michie was a codefendant. He was testifying for the prosecution, so they would keep the death penalty off the table in his case. While Rodney Bennett was known as Pennsylvania’s habitual liar.
At the time, Thorpe was the only reliable witness the prosecution had, but that later turned out to not be true either. Thorpe said on the stand how he heard Collins say that he killed Wayne and even showed him the murder weapon, which was never recovered. Then Thorpe recanted stating he was pressured by the investigators and was trying to help his cousin Michie.
When Thorpe was asked on tape why he was recanting his testimony, Thorpe said he was moved by the commutation Eugene Colvin-El about a year prior.
Collins has been on Maryland’s death row since 1988. Since that time, he has always maintained his innocence from the very beginning. He could very well be granted a new trial here shortly. Peter Keith, his post-conviction lawyer is also presenting new and compelling evidence that the prosecution and police were both having a hand in misconduct in his first trial. Along with the fact that Collins’ first defense team did not call any witnesses and his defense team did not present any evidence that could have crumbled the prosecution’s case with little to no effort.
Collins’ case is just another example that the death penalty needs to be heavily monitored in Maryland. As this is just another case where black-on-white murders happen, and they are more likely to lead to a death sentence than any other crimes.
Kenny Collins’ Maryland’s Death Row Inmate Taken Off?
It was not until February 5 when Daniel Long, a Maryland Judge removed Kenny Collins from Maryland’s death row. Long stated that Collins original defense team failed to represent their client in an adequate way during his 1988 trial.
With this reversal, it meant that Collins spent nearly 16 years of his life under an illegal death sentence, which is a huge blow to Maryland’s death penalty system, but a major win for attorneys and activists who were tirelessly fighting to prove Collins was innocent this entire time.
Unfortunately, the fight for justice in Collins case is not over yet. Even though Collins is still maintaining his innocence, but he still needs a new trial that will completely overturn his conviction.