Ex-Campaign Staffer Arrested in Shooting Death of Former Republican Arkansas State Senator


Linda Collins-Smith (left) and suspect Rebecca Lynn O’Donnell. (Facebook)

Former Republican Arkansas state Senator Linda Collins-Smith, 57, was found shot dead in her home last week and police have made an arrest in connection with the murder, according to reports. 

Fox News reported:

 

A former campaign staffer has been arrested in connection with this month’s shooting death of former Arkansas state Sen. Linda Collins-Smith, according to reports.

Arkansas State Police identified the suspect as Rebecca Lynn O’Donnell, 48, of Pocahontas, Ark., and said that criminal charges were pending, but did not say whether they were seeking any other suspects in Collins’ death.

Arkansas State Police have not released the connection between O’Donnell and Collin-Smith but a former communications director for the former Republican state senator told Little Rock’s KTHV-TV that O’Donnell had worked on Collins-Smith’s most recent campaign and the two were friends.

Collins-Smith was found with a gunshot wound and according to Ken Yang, her former press secretary, neighbors heard gunshots a couple days before authorities found her body.

The former lawmaker was found decomposed and wrapped in a blanket in her Pocahontas, Arkansas home.

“Today, we learned of the untimely death of former Senator Linda Collins Smith. She was a passionate voice for her people and a close member of our Republican family. We are praying for her loved ones during this difficult time,” the Arkansas GOP said last Tuesday evening.

In 2011 Collins-Smith was a Democrat and served in the Arkansas House. She immediately switched to the Republican party and went on to be elected to the senate in 2014.


The Arkansas lawmaker was defeated for re-election in 2018 and was recently divorced from her husband, retired Circuit Judge Philip Smith, in October 2018, reported the Arkansas Times.

Collins-Smith’s funeral was held Saturday morning in Pocahontas, Arkansas.

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