Ms Collins was found stabbed to death in 2019 outside her home in Little Rock, Arkansas. According to prosecutors, Ms O’Donnell killed Ms Collins in an attempt to avoid arrest over a money-related issue, but declined to go into further detail. While she was in jail awaiting trial, she asked inmates to kill Ms Collins’ ex-husband and other people, which resulted in her also pleading no contest to two charges of criminal solicitation.
After a year of secrecy and mystery, the public is about to start seeing records connected with the investigation into the killing of former Arkansas state Sen. Linda Collins-Smith. Collins-Smith represented District 19 in the Arkansas state Senate but lost her reelection bid in 2018. Before that, she served in the state House of Representatives from 2011 to 2013.
Rebecca O’Donnell pleaded guilty Thursday in the death of former Arkansas state Sen. Linda Collins and was sentenced to 50 years in prison. The plea deal includes charges of first-degree murder, abuse of a corpse and two no-contest pleas to solicit murder in Jackson County. “I’m both stunned and saddened by the death of former State Senator Linda Collins-Smith. She was a good person who served in the public arena with passion and conviction,” Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson tweeted. “The First Lady and I extend our deepest sympathies to her family and friends during this difficult time.” Arkansas police said they are investigating her death as a homicide. On June 17, Rebecca Lynn O’Donnell of Pocahontas, a former campaign worker and personal friend of Collins, was charged with capital murder, tampering with physical evidence and abuse of a corpse.
She was first elected as a Democrat to the state House in 2011. Fogleman wasted little time in ruling against O’Donnell’s team. According to Yang, neighbors had reportedly heard gunshots a day or two before Collins-Smith was discovered today. When she was first elected to the House, Collins-Smith identified as a Democrat, but switched to the Republican Party during her first term.
She then mouthed “I love you” before she was led out of the courtroom. The condition of Collins-Smith’s body “prevented any immediate positive identification,” Randolph County Sheriff Kevin Bell told reporters in June. Other motions also dealt with procedural issues like jury instructions, O’Donnell’s access to her lawyers and courtroom etiquette for observers.
She also served as a former member of the Arkansas State Senate, where she represented District 19 after being first elected in 2014. The Randolph County Sheriff’s Department and Arkansas State Police have elliptical weight loss results been investigating her death as suspicious and a possible murder. After the 25-minute hearing concluded, O’Donnell began to cry as she looked back at her daughters, who were sitting in the front row.