New charges filed against woman accused in 2019 killing of former Arkansas state senator, family of victim releases statement

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Rebecca O'Donnell accused of Solicitation to commit Capital Murder of the former husband of Linda Collins

NEWPORT, Ark. – The woman jailed since being accused last summer of killing a former Arkansas state senator is facing new charges in an unrelated case.

Rebecca O’Donnell, 49, now faces two counts each of Solicitation to commit Capital Murder and Solicitation (felony) to commit Tampering with physical evidence (misdemeanor), according to a probable cause document filed in Jackson County Circuit Court on Tuesday.

The documents reveal that O’Donnell spoke with two fellow inmates in the Jackson County Jail about killing the former husband of Linda Collins and making it look like a suicide. Investigators say O’Donnell also wanted the man’s wife to be killed.

“It changes up everybody’s viewpoints, I’m sure. It forces more thought,” one person said.

O’Donnell allegedly also wanted them to find her impounded vehicle at the Randolph County Jail and “blow it up to destroy any evidence that may be in the vehicle.”

“A can of worms got opened today. A whole lot happened. It’s hard to make heads or tails of it but that’s a whole lot of stuff that got brought to the table today, that should change the whole situation if any of it’s true,” one person said.

The court papers say O’Donnell told the inmates that they would be paid in gold and silver she said they would find inside the home of her former husband.

The alleged plot was to find Mr. Smith and shoot or hang him and to make it look like his wife mary was trying to leave him.

The report also says O’Donnell asked the inmates to kill the judge and prosecutor assigned to the case.

“There’s a lot more to the story that’s still yet to unfold, I believe,” one person said.

O’Donnell allegedly asked another inmate if she quote “knew any Mexican people” that would be willing to kill Phill.

“We need to be praying for the families because if anybody can solve this, it’s god,” one person said.

Click here for more details on the investigation that led to these new charges against O’Donnell.

The family of Linda Collins released the following statement on Wednesday:

“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.”

Family of Linda Collins

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