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Arkansas Murder Case Takes Weird Turns

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Along the Black River in northeastern Arkansas, the mystery of Linda Collins-Smith and Rebecca Lynn O’Donnell continues to deepen.

Collins-Smith, 57, was the well-to-do businesswoman and ex-state senator found dead at her Pocahontas, Arkansas, home on June 4. O’Donnell, 49, was her friend and employee who now stands accused of the murder in a case that could end with the death penalty.

But still, six months after O’Donnell was arrested, there are more questions than answers.

In June, O'Donnell's fiance, Tim Loggains, said in an interview with ABC News, that O’Donnell and Collins-Smith "were very close.:

"Becky’s not capable of this. … There’s not a chance she did this," he said.

Prosecutors and investigators have yet to explain their case or what the motive was for O’Donnell to allegedly commit such a heinous crime. The judge overseeing the case has imposed a gag order so rigid that defense lawyers and court staff refuse to discuss even the most mundane scheduling matters connected with it. Then, the judge, David Goodson, took himself off the case on Tuesday and asked the Arkansas Supreme Court to appoint a replacement, according to Supreme Court records.

 

A very hot friend of mine -- no pics, assholes, it might ruin any chance I might have -- is following this case closely, as in, attending hearings in Arkansas. She pointed that this is now the second time the presiding judge has recused.

Here's some info on the killing and arrest.

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On top of that, without warning or stated justification, jailers last week placed O’Donnell under the strictest detention protocols even as they admit the woman has been a model inmate since being arrested in June.

"The family was informed Becky had been placed on 'investigative status' and was not allowed visits, phone calls or any contact with prisoners or anyone else except for her attorneys," her fiancé, Tim Loggains, told ABC News in an interview. "We, the family, had been trying to reach Becky and assumed the phones were not working or there was technical issues with the machinery. There was no reason given for this 'investigative status.' In fact, we were told that Becky had violated no jail rules."

Loggains said the jail told him that the restrictions took effect on Nov. 18. That same day, the judge in the case, David Goodson, denied a motion by ABC News to have the restrictions on the case lifted or modified so the public could learn why O’Donnell was charged and what type of evidence connects her to the death of Collins-Smith.

Jackson County Sheriff David Lucas, who runs the jail housing O’Donnell, said in an interview that "the Arkansas State Police has requested the administrative lockdown on her. They had contacted us and requested us to place her on administrative lockdown and restrict her visits."

Lucas also confirmed his jail staff hasn’t "had any disciplinary problems with her."

When ABC News contacted state police Tuesday morning, spokesman Bill Sadler first insisted that his agency "has no jurisdiction to dictate to a local sheriff the conditions under which an inmate is held. I’m telling you the Arkansas State Police has no authority to issue any such order."

Sadler called back a few hours later to say the state police did contact the jail to suggest that staff might want to consider placing O’Donnell under no-contact restrictions. But, he said, that was only done because of the violent nature of the alleged crimes. O’Donnell has been charged with capital murder, abuse of a corpse and tampering with physical evidence.

Collins-Smith's son, Butch Smith, called police on the afternoon of June 4 to report that he and his grandfather were searching for his mother at her home because they hadn't heard from her. She was last seen alive on May 28. Smith told detectives he found a body wrapped in a blanket under a tarp in the driveway; it was later determined to be the former state senator.

The condition of Collins-Smith's body "prevented any immediate positive identification," Randolph County Sheriff Kevin Bell told reporters in June. An autopsy determined that the woman died of multiple stab wounds. In addition, her body had been moved from inside the home to the driveway and was in an "advanced state of decomposition" by the time it was found.

O'Donnell has pleaded not guilty and is being held without bond.

Crack the case, Surly Doo Crew. Why is this case too hot for two judges to handle? Why is the accused being thrown up under the jail despite being a model prisoner? Is Becky not capable of this, or (Keith Morrison voice) IS SHE?

I will report your findings back to my hot friend and I will give you credit for your ideas. Lol no I won't.

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O’Donnell, once an aide to Collins-Smith and an employee of the former senator's business, is being held without bond on charges of capital murder, abuse of a corpse and tampering with physical evidence.

 

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22 minutes ago, dirtonia said:

Friends zone

She lives in Canada, He met her at Niagara Falls. You wouldn't know her.

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8 hours ago, MaybeACoordinator said:

A very hot friend of mine -- no pics, assholes, it might ruin any chance I might have -- is following this case closely, as in, attending hearings in Arkansas. She pointed that this is now the second time the presiding judge has recused.

Here's some info on the killing and arrest.

Back to quotes...

Crack the case, Surly Doo Crew. Why is this case too hot for two judges to handle? Why is the accused being thrown up under the jail despite being a model prisoner? Is Becky not capable of this, or (Keith Morrison voice) IS SHE?

I will report your findings back to my hot friend and I will give you credit for your ideas. Lol no I won't.

My Sherlock Badge tells me...

The deceased was a former state senator in Arkansas, therefore the two judges recused themselves because they most likely knew her and would be biased. I’m sure the judges were assigned the case by some automatic next up system, and knew they would have to recuse, and the assigning machine finally landed on a judge that didn’t know the senator.

As for the gag order, it’s clear the perpetrator did something gross to the body and the judge wants to spare the family any embarrassment of the details getting out. Whether it was mutilation, sexual, or both. 
 

And maybe the jail restrictions are because she’s on suicide watch? Or the state senator was heavily liked and they don’t want the murderer to receive any type of niceties. Who knows 

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Reports say she was stabbed, then headline in link says she was shot. I'm guessing she was scissored. 

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Probably so Tite lipped because they think there's another crazy lesbian involved. Tread carefully.

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