MURDER USA: Career criminal John Ingersoll found guilty of the murder of off-duty prison guard Gregory Collins in 2001 Cold Case; the same gun used in a second shooting
UPDATE: On June 7, 2021, a Dorchester County Circuit Court Jury found Ingersoll guilt of first-degree murder; second-degree murder, first and second-degree assault; use of a handgun in a violent felony crime; possession of firearms.
VIENNA, MD — Maryland State Police homicide investigators arrested a Dorchester County career criminal on Friday the 13th in connection with a 2001 cold case involving the murder of a correctional officer who was on his way home from working a shift at the Maryland prison at Westover, Md., in Somerset County.
The accused is identified as John Michael Ingersoll Jr., 46, (DOB 01/25/1973) of 31257 Dukes Bridge Road, Cordova, Md.
Police say that the Maryland State Apprehension Team arrested Ingersoll in Easton, Maryland at 11:05 a.m. Ingersoll is charged with first- and second-degree murder, and other related offenses. The Grand Jury of Dorchester County handed down an indictment the not-so-lucky day for Ingersoll, on Sept. 13, 2019, charging him for the 2001 murder after the Office of the State’s Attorney for Dorchester County presented the case. Ingersoll is being held in the Dorchester Jail pending trial.
The deceased, Gregory Guy Collins, 31, of Vienna, Maryland was a three-year veteran of the Division of Correction and a member of the Maryland National Guard.
Correctional Officer Collins was shot and killed while traveling toward his home after working his shift at the Eastern Correctional Institution in Somerset County during the early morning hours on Monday, June 4, 2001.
Shortly before 4:00 p.m. on June 4, 2001, Collins was reported missing when he failed to return home after his evening shift at the prison near Princess Anne. He had reportedly finished his shift around midnight and was driving a gray Toyota pickup truck when the incident occurred.
Maryland State Police never gave up on this cold case involving the 31-year-old former Marine Corps artillery specialist.
Collins was driving his pickup on Route 331 from the Eastern Correctional Institution in Westover, Md. when he was shot by someone following behind, and his vehicle crashed. Collins was about 2 1/2 miles from his Vienna-area home where he lived with his wife and 5-month-old daughter.
Collins, who had worked for three years at ECI, was discovered that afternoon after his wife called the police to report that he had not returned home after working the 4 p.m.-to-midnight shift.
Police say that Collins, a 1988 graduate of North Dorchester County High School, had served in the Maryland National Guard in the 115th Military Police Battalion in Salisbury since 1999.
A responding Maryland state trooper noticed a wooded area along Indiantown Road, one mile east of Route 331, where it appeared a vehicle had left the roadway. The trooper checked the area further and found Correctional Officer Collins unresponsive inside his truck.
Could Ingersoll be responsible for a second shooting as well?
Detectives learned that another man driving a truck much like that in which Collins was murdered was also shot at on the same road six days before Collins’ shooting.
Maryland State Police said Gary N. Camper was driving in his work truck when someone shot it several times. Police said Camper was not injured.
Ballistics tests have shown the same weapon was used in both shootings, state police said.
The Maryland State Police Homicide Unit worked in coordination with several law enforcement partners to bring this unsolved homicide investigation to a close. Assistance was provided by the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, the Eastern Correctional Institution in Princess Anne, the Office of the State’s Attorney for Dorchester County, Federal Bureau of Investigation Baltimore Division, Talbot County Task Force, Maryland State Police from the Easton Barrack, Talbot County Sheriff’s Office, Maryland State Apprehension Team and the Criminal Enforcement Division Upper Shore.
Ingersoll a fraudster and burglar; also attacked a church
Ingersoll has been involved in various civil actions in Talbot County Circuit Court as well as a plaintiff in a 2015 divorce proceeding.
The following criminal cases involved Ingersoll, according to Maryland Court records:
- Found guilty of drug paraphernalia possession in Talbot District Court on April 28, 2014.
- Found guilty of possession of marijuana on May 13, 2014.
- Ingersoll was charged with 58 counts of felony theft, fraud, identity theft, and forgery by Cambridge City Police in Dorchester District Court which resulted in a plea bargain and guilty plea on Nov. 1, 2006.
- Ingersoll entered a guilty plea in a plea bargain with the Dorchester County States Attorney on July 24, 1997, to felony third-degree burglary. Ingersoll violated his probation in this case on Nov. 15, 2001. THE DEAL: Ingersoll was sentenced to prison for 4 years and 6 months with none of the time suspended.
- Ingersoll was arrested by Maryland State Trooper John Bollinger on felony burglary charges on Dec. 4, 1995.
- The criminal career of Ingersoll included facing charges by Talbot Deputy Horney for defacing a church with racial damage and markings, and malicious property destruction and ended with another plea deal with Talbot States Attorney Scott Patterson on Feb. 5, 1996. THE DEAL: the charges were all put on the Stet Docket with no fine and no time.