Woman held on capital murder, abuse of corpse charges in Arkansas lawmaker’s death

Rebecca Lynn O'Donnell being led into the Randolph County Courthouse for her probable cause hearing. / Source: KAIT

POCAHONTAS, Ark. (KAIT) - A judge found probable cause Monday to charge a Pocahontas woman with capital murder in the death of former State Senator Linda Collins.

Rebecca Lynn O’Donnell, 48, also faces abuse of a corpse and tampering with physical evidence charges.

The judge did not set bond.

O’Donnell was arrested Friday in connection with the case.

Randolph County Sheriff Kevin Bell told Region 8 News that he cannot specify why she is considered a suspect because it would interfere with the investigation.

However, Bell said he arrested O’Donnell around 4 p.m. June 14 after a traffic stop on Highway 62 West near Burgess Road.

Officials said the investigation is ongoing.

“The investigation is presently at a critical juncture and no further information will be released at this hour until authorities are confident it will not comprise the integrity of the criminal case,” ASP said in the news release.

However, officials said special agents with the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division, Randolph County Sheriff’s Deputies and the Third Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney’s Office are working on the investigation.

Collins’ body was found June 4 outside her home on Highway 90 West, law enforcement said at the time.

On June 7, Arkansas State Police confirmed that the remains found at the scene were those of Collins.

Randolph County authorities, as well as Arkansas State Police, have been investigating Collins’ death as a homicide.

Earlier in the investigation, Prosecuting Attorney Henry Boyce said in a media release that no information about the case would be released while it was under investigation.

Visitation for Collins, who served as both a state Representative and state Senator in Little Rock, was held Friday in Pocahontas.