Woman Sentenced to 30 Years for Murder in Sharp County

Henry Boyce, Third Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney, announced today Jennifer Lea Collins, 56, of Mammoth Spring pled guilty in Sharp County Circuit Court to a charge of Murder in the Second Degree and was sentenced to 30 years in the Arkansas Department of Correction.  The court suspended 10 years of the sentence which leaves 20 years for Collins to serve.    Murder in the Second Degree is a Class A Felony in Arkansas punishable by 6 – 30 years imprisonment.  The defendant was sentenced by the Honorable Harold S. Erwin, Third Judicial District Circuit Judge.

Collins caused the death of Jane Sandefur, 92, of Cherokee Village.  Sandefur was attacked by Collins on May 11, 2017 in the Sandefur home.  Collins had been hired to be a caregiver for Sandefur.  Sandefur was discovered by her son and she was able to tell emergency responders that Collins had hit her and beaten her.  Sandefur also suffered multiple bite wounds.  Sandefur subsequently succumbed to complications from pneumonia brought on by the injuries she sustained in the attack.  

After being arrested initially Collins was charged with Battery in the First Degree which was later increased to Murder in the Second Degree after Sandefur died and Boyce conferred with the State medical examiner’s office.

Boyce said, “This is without a doubt one of the most bizarre cases I have seen in over 15 years as Prosecuting Attorney for this District.  There were several preliminary legal issues pending before the Court when Collins decided to plea.  After lengthy conversations with all members of the Sandefur family they have consented to this plea agreement.  I am happy that we were able to help bring closure to Mrs. Sandefur’s family today.”