Ex-aide pleads guilty to murder of Arkansas state Sen. Linda Collins
Rebecca Lynn O’Donnell, a former aide to the late Republican state Sen. Linda Collins, copped to first-degree murder and abuse of a corpse during a court hearing Thursday, after previously maintaining her innocence.
“I went to Linda’s house and I intentionally killed her and then hid the body,” O’Donnell said, according to KATV-TV.
Collins was found stabbed to death and wrapped under a tarp outside her Pocahontas, Arkansas, home on June 4, 2019, by her son Butch.
“I will never not be able to see that picture burned into my brain,” he said in a statement to ABC News, adding that he believes O’Donnell had been stealing money from his mother and stabbed her boss when confronted.
“The plea deal was not what my first choice would have been, but at least we do have a guaranteed amount of time that she will be imprisoned for and we will have the ability as the victim’s family to argue against her release at her parole hearings.”
Originally charged with a capital offense and facing the death penalty, Thursday’s deal could now send O’Donnell to prison for 50 years.
“No amount of punishment will ever fill that void that Rebecca O’Donnell made in our lives the day she killed our mother,” Collins’ daughter, Tate, said after the hearing.