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Arkansas wife arrested in death by Linda Collins-Smith

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – The authorities said Friday night that they arrested a woman from Arkansas in connection with the assassination of a former senator who was found dead outside her own home.

The Arkansas State Police shared with them and the Sheriff deputies of Randolph County arrested 48-year-old Rebecca Lynn O'Donnell in connection with the death of former Senator Linda Collins. The police said criminal charges were pending and did not say whether they would look for more suspects for Collins' death.

Collins-57, who was apprehended by Collins-Smith in the legislature, was found dead outside her home in Pocahontas on June 4. about 210 kilometers northeast of Little Rock.

A state police spokesman declined to say where O & # Donnell was being held. The prison in Randolph County referred questions to the sheriff, who did not immediately return a call for comment. The state police said they did not know when O'Donnell would appear in court.

Ken Yang, a former communications director for Collins, said O'Donnell was working on the former legislator's recent campaign and they are friends. According to Yang, Collins & # 39; family had no immediate comment on the arrest, but could make a statement.

Collins served a term in the State House and was originally elected as a Democrat in 201

0. However, she changed the party and became Republican in 2011, the year before, the GOP won control of both chambers of the legislature. She was elected to the Senate in 2014 and was one of the most conservative legislators in the Majority GOP Chamber. She lost reelection at Republican Primary last year. Collins and her husband, the retired Circuit Judge Philip Smith, divorced last year and were in the middle of a lawsuit over their property, including a motel.

Authorities have published few details about Collins' murder and did not say how or when the previous legislature was killed. A judge issued a request from the prosecutor last week to seal the documents and statements received by the police during the investigation. Collins was on social media, but her last tweet was published in late May.

Collins' funeral is scheduled for Saturday morning in Pocahontas. Collins' two grown children and his father said on Monday that they were saddened and upset about the murder of the former legislature.

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