Third Judicial District Prosecutor Henry Boyce has been recused from the murder case of former State Sen. Linda Collins-Smith, according to a report from ABC News.
Who will replace Boyce has not been released. A reason for the recusal was not released, but Boyce is seeking to become the state District 15 judge, which covers Jackson and Woodruff counties.
Attempts by Talk Business & Politics to reach Boyce’s office for comment were unsuccessful. Boyce requested to be removed from the case and Judge John Fogelman granted the release.
Rebecca Lynn (Becky) O’Donnell, 48, has been charged with Collin-Smith’s murder after her body was found at her Pocahontas-area home in early June. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty in the case. O’Donnell had reportedly been a campaign aide and business manager for the victim. Authorities have released few details in the high-profile case, which has also been under a judicial gag order.
Collins-Smith, a former state representative and senator, had been married to former Judge Phil Smith. The couple was involved in a divorce at the time of the murder. Several judges and now Boyce, who all had worked with Judge Smith in some capacity, have been removed from the case.
O’Donnell’s trial is slated to begin Oct. 19, 2020.