Rebecca Lynn O'Donnell is accused of killing former Arkansas State Senator Linda Collins for money before also planning hits on a judge and a prosecutor involved in the case, according to court filings.
Rebecca Lynn O'Donnell, 49, has been held without bail since last June on charges of capital murder, evidence tampering and abuse of a corpse after allegedly murdering former State Sen. Linda Collins.
Until recently, prosecutors had not released a possible motive for the crime.
However, Robert Dittrich, the special prosecutor assigned to the case, filed a notice with the Randolph County Circuit Court on April 30, revealing the suspected motive.
#BREAKING: The suspect in the former State Senator's murder made this her profile photo days after the homicide. Randolph County Sheriff confirmed to KAIT-TV the suspect Rebecca Lynn O'Donnell is pictured right. Senator is on left. (photo: Rebecca O'Donnell's Facebook) #ARNews pic.twitter.com/jXhXnwZnXC— Mitchell McCoy (@MitchellMcCoy) June 15, 2019
Prosecutors believe that O'Donnell murdered Collins for "the purposes of avoiding or preventing arrest" and for financial gain, according to the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.
Tim Loggains, O'Donnell's fiance, has publicly stated that Collins granted him power of attorney following her divorce from her ex-husband. Both Loggains and O'Donnell have repeatedly maintained that O'Donnell is innocent of all charges.
The prosecutors did not specify why they thought O'Donnell planned to gain from the murder.
O'Donnell was additionally charged in January for allegedly trying to hire female inmates at the Jackson County Jail in several murder-for-hire plots. The targets allegedly included the Collins' ex-husband and his wife and a judge and prosecutor formerly involved in the court case.
Several women in the Jackson County Jail reportedly told police in January that O'Donnell tried to hire them to kill the targets and help secure her release.
She now faces additional charges of solicitation to commit capital murder and solicitation to tamper with evidence. She has pleaded not guilty to all charges and her attorney labeled the charges "outlandish."
O'Donnell and Collins were close friends, according to the Daily Mail, and O'Donnell previously worked as Collins' campaign aide.
Police found Collins' body in an "advanced stage of decomposition" in her Pocahontas home on June 4 last year and it took authorities around two days to identify the remains using dental records.
O'Donnell faces the death penalty if she is found guilty of capital murder. Her capital murder trial is scheduled for October.