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An Ex-State Senator Was Murdered. A Woman Has Been Arrested

Rebecca Lynn O'Donnell, 48, in custody after homicide of Ark.'s Linda Collins-Smith
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 15, 2019 6:30 AM CDT
In this Jan. 28, 2015, file photo, Sen. Linda Collins-Smith, R-Pocahontas, listens to testimony in Little Rock, Ark.   (AP Photo/Danny Johnston, File)

(Newser) – A former Arkansas state senator was found dead of a gunshot wound at her Randolph County home last week, and now police have a suspect in custody, per CBS News. Rebecca Lynn O'Donnell, 48, of Pocahontas has been arrested, with criminal charges still to come. A release from Arkansas State Police notes that authorities plan on keeping mum on further details until they're "confident it will not [compromise] the integrity of the criminal case." Although police haven't yet revealed what relationship may have existed between Collins-Smith and O'Donnell, Heavy.com suggests O'Donnell may have done campaigning in the past for Collins-Smith.

And a statement from Collins-Smith's family cited by KATV does indeed indicate the two women knew each other. "We are sickened and upset that someone so close to Linda would be involved in such a terrible, heartless crime," the statement read. CNN notes Collins-Smith's death doesn't seem to be related to the death of another former state senator, Jonathan Nichols of Oklahoma, who was found shot to death in his home on June 5, the day after Collins-Smith was killed. (Read more Arkansas stories.)

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