New charges filed for woman accused of killing former State Senator Linda Collins-Smith


JACKSON COUNTY, Ark. (KNWA) — Rebecca Lynn O’Donnell, awaiting trial for the murder of former Arkansas State Senator Linda Collins-Smith, is facing new charges on Tuesday, January 14, after allegedly attempting to solicit murder while in jail.

O’Donnell, 49, faces two counts of soliciting to commit capital murder and two counts of solicitation to commit tampering with physical evidence, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in the Jackson County Circuit Court on Tuesday.

According to the affidavit, a Jackson County inmate informed detectives that Rebecca O’Donnell was trying to get her and another inmate to kill Phil Smith, the ex-husband of Linda Collins.

The inmate said O’Donnell wanted the death to appear like a suicide and that they could take gold and silver that was supposed to be in the home as payment.

O’Donnell also allegedly told the pair to travel to the Randolph County Jail, where her vehicle is being held, and blow it up to destroy any evidence that may be in the vehicle, according to court records.

O’Donnell is accused of killing Collins-Smith last June. Her trial is scheduled to begin October 19, 2020.

On Wednesday, January 15, the family of Linda Collins released the below statement regarding the developments of the murder case:

“We, the family, would like to thank the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department and the Arkansas State Police for their continued vigilance and swift response in dealing with this latest incident. We have full faith that the investigators acted on solid evidence supporting these charges and not just on a whim. We appreciate the transparency shown by all agencies involved in this matter. These newest charges further cement in our minds that the police have arrested the right person. Rebecca O’Donnell’s threats are being treated very seriously but have not deterred our faith in what we are committed to, justice for Linda. Thank you all for your continued support, prayers and well wishes.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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