As Fridayâ€™s hearing concerning the case of murdered former Senator Linda Collins approaches , the accused suspect Rebecca Oâ€™Donnell and her state appointed defense team seek to have the death penalty removed from the case.
The hearing will begin at 9am on Friday in the Randolph County Circuit Court. Oâ€™Donnellâ€™s last pretrial hearing is set for September 18th with the trial set to begin October 19th.
Rebecca Lynn Oâ€™Donnell, 49 years old of Biggers was a former friend of the late Senator Collins and worked on her campaign. Oâ€™Donnell was arrested and charged 10 days after family members found the badly decomposed body of Collins on June 4th, 2019. Oâ€™Donnell was charged with capital murder, abuse of a corpse and tampering with physical evidence by the Randolph County Sheriffâ€™s Office.
According to court records some 17 motions have been filed to date attempting to not only remove the death penalty but also to have other evidence such as autopsy and crime scene photos removed from trial evidence.
Affidavits indicate that video evidence key to the prosecutionâ€™s case suggest the body was moved from the residence, wrapped in a blanket and covered with a tarp. The suspect was allegedly recorded while removing security cameras inside the home on May 28th, the last day Collins was seen alive according to the affidavit.
The Arkansas Crime Lab determined Collins was stabbed multiple times causing her death, the state also reported the body was in an advanced state of decomposition.
Oâ€™Donnellâ€™s defense team also filed a motion objecting to the team not being able to meet with their client during the current COVID quarantine. The sheriffâ€™s office has barred such private meetings due to safety precautions put in place for COVID-19 since March 16th according to the defense.