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Arkansas Sen. Linda Collins was 'killed for money' by ex campaign aide who also plotted to murder case judge

Rebecca Lynn O'Donnell, a former campaign aide to Senator Linda Collins, was charged with two counts each of solicitation to commit capital murder and tampering with physical evidence
UPDATED MAY 14, 2020
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An Arkansas campaign aide who was charged with killing a state senator last year had also been involved in plotting a murder-for-hire hit on a judge and prosecutor who were involved in the case. 

The chilling details emerged in new court filings. 49-year-old Rebecca Lynn O'Donnell had been charged with capital murder and evidence tampering in the murder of Arkansas Sen Linda Collins, 57.

Collins had been found dead last year in June outside of her home. It was reported that O'Donnell had been a close confidante of Collins. 

In court filings, prosecutors revealed for the first time the possible motive behind the crime, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reveals. O'Donnell has pleaded not guilty to the charges. It is believed that she had committed the murder for monetary gain. 

O'Donnell was has been held without bail on charges including capital murder, abuse of a corpse, and evidence tampering ever since last June. She had been arrested around two weeks after the former Senator's decomposed body was discovered in the driveway of her home. 

The Gazette states that the special prosecutor who was assigned to the case, Robert Dittrich, had said that the circumstances that justify the seeking of the capital murder charge are inclusive of the belief that the crime "was committed for the purpose of avoiding or preventing an arrest" and "for pecuniary gain."

The prosecutors have revealed that they do intend to seek the capital murder charge which means the possibility of a death sentence. Earlier this year, O'Donnell was also slammed with charges after the authorities alleged that she had tried to recruit a couple of female inmates at the Jackson County Jail for murder-for-hire plots against a judge and a prosecutor who had been assigned to the case. 

She was charged with two counts each of solicitation to commit capital murder and tampering with physical evidence. The probable cause affidavit revealed that the accused's cellmate told Arkansas State Police officials that O'Donnell had asked her and three others to help out with the murders, Daily Mail reports. 

Two women told the police that they had been asked to help murder Henry Boyce who was the prosecutor assigned to O'Donnell's murder case. Randolph County Judge, Harold Erwin had also been the target of one of the murder-for-hire plots. 

We had previously reported that Senator Linda Collins-Smith of Pocahontas, Arkansas has been found dead in her home due to a gunshot wound. The neighbors are said to have heard some shots fired approximately two days before the body was found. 

She had been a Republican member of the Arkansas State Senate between the years 2015 and 2019 and hailed from Pocahontas in Randolph County. She had been monumental in the introduction of the controversial Senate Bill 774 which would restrict transgenders and their use of government facilities that correspond to the sex on their birth certificates.

She had said at the time in 2017, "No child should have to worry that their school might change its policy to force them to shower or undress in front of a member of the opposite sex as has been the case around the country."