Photo: Former AR Sen. Linda Collins (left) and Becky O’Donnell, who has been charged in the former lawmaker’s murder.
The affidavit in the case of a Pocahontas woman arrested in connection with the slaying of former Arkansas lawmaker Linda Collins was released Friday.
Arkansas Times reports Prosecuting Attorney Henry Boyce of Newport released the affidavit presented to a judge for a warrant to arrest Becky O’Donnell in the death of former state Sen. Linda Collins. It indicates Collins’ home security camera provided crucial evidence.
The affidavit also indicates Collins died of multiple stab wounds. She had not been shot, as some early reports had said.
The affidavit indicates the camera had been disconnected and stowed in a garage, among many items with which Collins had filled the house. But that disconnection didn’t erase footage duplicated in the computer cloud.
Collins was found dead, wrapped in a covering, outside her home June 4. Decomposition of the body indicated she’d been killed several days before.
Ten days later, 48-year-old O’Donnell was arrested while driving with her fiance, Tim Loggains, to a funeral home visitation for Collins, a former Republican senator known during her time as a legislator as Collins-Smith. She divorced Phil Smith, her husband of 22 years, last fall and was appealing a division of property in the case.
Boyce had obtained a circuit court order sealing documents in the investigation of the death. He said he didn’t want to harm the investigation.
O’Donnell was formally charged with capital murder, abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence in a brief proceeding in circuit court in Pocahontas. She was represented by a public defender and ordered held without bail until a preliminary hearing.
Friday, Boyce released further information.
Documents in the record of the appeal show Becky O’Donnell routinely served as a corroborating witness to Collins’ residency in the divorce.
Loggains was also mentioned. He was identified as having Collins’ power of attorney and assisting her in efforts to cash almost $500,000 in state and federal income tax issues jointly to Collins and Smith.
Loggains, who has not been charged in the case, was a political ally of Collins at the legislature on pro-gun issues.
Collins-Smith was elected to the Arkansas State Senate for District 19 in 2014. The district includes eastern Fulton County and all of Izard, Sharp, Independence and Randolph counties. She lost her re-election bid in 2018.
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