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story.lead_photo.caption FILE - In this Jan. 28, 2015 file photo, Sen. Linda Collins-Smith, R-Pocahontas, speaks at the Arkansas state Capitol in Little Rock, Ark. Prosecutors say they plan to seek the death penalty against Rebecca Lynn O'Donnell, charged with killing former lawmaker Collins-Smith, who was found dead June 4, 2019 outside her own home. Prosecutor Henry Boyce on Tuesday, July 30 told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette his office would formally announce its plans at an arraignment and plea hearing for O'Donnell, who's been charged with capital murder. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston, File)

The district attorney prosecuting the murder case against a Randolph County woman accused of killing former state Sen. Linda Collins unexpectedly asked to quit the case this week, just a little over a week after a judge made a similar request.

Third Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Henry Boyce was relieved Wednesday by an order signed by Judge John Fogleman, according to a copy of the document provided by the circuit clerk's office. Fogleman was assigned to the case Nov. 26, replacing Judge David Goodson, who had asked to be removed for unknown reasons.

Boyce did not return multiple messages seeking comment on Thursday and Friday.

Boyce's office filed capital murder and other charges against Rebecca O'Donnell in June in relation to Collins' slaying. O'Donnell was a friend and former campaign aide to the Republican senator, though no motive has been revealed.

Fogleman is the fourth judge to have heard matters related to the case since it began. Goodson was assigned as a special judge after the recusal of all the other judges in the Third Judicial Circuit, where Collins' ex-husband, Philip Smith, had once served.

Boyce's office, however, had remained on the case since it was filed. No new prosecutor was immediately assigned.

The case is scheduled to go to trial next October.

Read Saturday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.


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