COLLINS AND O'DONNELL: O'Donnell posted this photo on her Facebook page several days after Collins' body was found.

Ken Yang, former communications director for the late Sen. Linda Collins, issued a statement today from Collins’ family regarding the latest developments in her murder case.

Yesterday, charges were filed in Jackson County detailing new allegations against Rebecca O’Donnell, charged with murdering Collins. According to a probable cause affidavit, other inmates in jail with O’Donnell told state police that O’Donnell had approached them about murder-for-hire schemes. According to the affidavit, O’Donnell solicited them to murder Collin’s ex-husband, Phil Smith; Smith’s current wife Mary; Henry Boyce, a former prosecutor on the case; and Randolph County Judge Harold Erwin, as well as to destroy evidence.


The statement from Collins’ family:

We, the family, would like to thank the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department and the Arkansas State Police for their continued vigilance and swift response in dealing with this latest incident. We have full faith that the investigators acted on solid evidence supporting these charges and not just on a whim. We appreciate the transparency shown by all agencies involved in this matter. These newest charges further cement in our minds that the police have arrested the right person. Rebecca O’Donnell’s threats are being treated very seriously but have not deterred our faith in what we are committed to, justice for Linda. Thank you all for your continued support, prayers and well wishes.

O’Donnell, a close friend and former campaign aide to Collins, pleaded not guilty in July to charges of capital murder of Collins, abuse of a corpse and tampering with physical evidence. Her attorney told the D-G that the new charges against her were “outlandish” and were likely the result of inmates attempting to get favorable deals.