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2 former state senators found dead in Arkansas and Oklahoma within days

Lawmakers in Arkansas and Oklahoma are mourning the loss of two former state senators who were found dead in their homes wi...

Posted: Jun 8, 2019 11:39 PM
Updated: Jun 8, 2019 11:39 PM

Lawmakers in Arkansas and Oklahoma are mourning the loss of two former state senators who were found dead in their homes within a span of two days.

In Arkansas, this week's fatal shooting of former Republican state Sen. Linda Collins-Smith is being investigated as a homicide, authorities said.

In Oklahoma, former state Sen. Jonathan Nichols was found dead from a gunshot in his home in Norman, about 20 miles from Oklahoma City, according to police.

Authorities have not provided additional details on the apparently unrelated deaths. Investigations are under way in both states.

Linda Collins-Smith

Collins-Smith's body was found Tuesday in her home in Randolph County, Arkansas. She'd been fatally shot, and her death is under investigation as a homicide, CNN affiliate KARK reported.

Collins-Smith, who was a Democrat before switching to the Republican Party, was first elected to the Arkansas Senate in 2014 and lost her party's primary last year, the Little Rock TV station said.

"She was a passionate voice for her people and a close member of our Republican family. We are praying for her loved ones during this difficult time," the Arkansas GOP tweeted.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said he was stunned by her death and expressed his condolences to her loved ones.

"She was a good person who served in the public arena with passion and conviction," Hutchinson said. "The first lady and I extend our deepest sympathies to her family and friends during this difficult time."

Jonathan Nichols

Police found the body of the former Republican lawmaker Wednesday night after a report of gunfire.

Nichols, 53, was an Oklahoma state senator from 2000 to 2012 and later worked at the University of Oklahoma, CNN affiliate KFOR in Oklahoma City reported.

Authorities confirmed his death Thursday.

"Investigators are currently working with the Oklahoma medical examiner's office to determine the exact cause and manner of death," Norman police said.

Lawmakers expressed shock over Nichols' death.

"Sen. Jonathan Nichols was the most brilliant political, legal mind in the Oklahoma state Legislature, and worked tirelessly as a senator and for years on staff to help guide our state forward," said state Sen. Rob Standridge, who succeeded him in Oklahoma's District 15.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 749532

Reported Deaths: 13746
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1030911775
Lake554681006
Allen41636691
St. Joseph36947564
Hamilton36527416
Elkhart29363459
Tippecanoe22862225
Vanderburgh22542400
Porter19331325
Johnson18405388
Hendricks17588317
Clark13200193
Madison13120344
Vigo12604253
LaPorte12394221
Monroe12163175
Delaware10947198
Howard10263225
Kosciusko9614119
Hancock8549144
Bartholomew8162157
Warrick7854156
Floyd7772180
Grant7229179
Wayne7155201
Boone6917103
Morgan6736141
Dubois6211118
Marshall6206116
Cass5991108
Henry5894108
Dearborn588978
Noble580186
Jackson508674
Shelby500897
Lawrence4732121
Gibson444093
Harrison440773
Clinton440055
DeKalb438785
Montgomery434690
Whitley406042
Huntington402281
Steuben399259
Miami392768
Jasper386954
Knox375790
Putnam372160
Wabash360583
Ripley346570
Adams344955
Jefferson335685
White330253
Daviess3031100
Wells295181
Decatur289992
Greene286385
Fayette284864
Posey273735
LaGrange272872
Scott269955
Clay265848
Washington244934
Randolph244683
Jennings235149
Spencer234231
Starke227558
Fountain218647
Sullivan213943
Owen211058
Fulton201542
Jay200932
Carroll193420
Orange188055
Perry186937
Rush175726
Vermillion173644
Franklin170235
Tipton165846
Parke149016
Pike138034
Blackford136132
Pulaski120247
Newton112736
Brown103943
Crawford102316
Benton101014
Martin91515
Warren83615
Switzerland8098
Union72810
Ohio57811
Unassigned0420

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1107225

Reported Deaths: 20091
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1285061459
Cuyahoga1156322204
Hamilton812991245
Montgomery524951040
Summit48356999
Lucas43309817
Butler38903603
Stark33297929
Lorain25641502
Warren24558303
Mahoning22332601
Lake21139385
Clermont20098252
Delaware18819135
Licking16649222
Fairfield16564204
Trumbull16527479
Medina15597270
Greene15256246
Clark14223306
Wood13281197
Portage13229214
Allen11903239
Richland11598211
Miami10837223
Wayne9116222
Columbiana9023230
Muskingum8889135
Pickaway8652122
Tuscarawas8639247
Marion8635138
Erie8052164
Ashtabula7139179
Hancock6996131
Ross6934161
Geauga6832150
Scioto6530104
Belmont6149174
Union583849
Lawrence5723102
Jefferson5669158
Huron5539122
Sandusky5437125
Darke5415129
Seneca5344126
Washington5308109
Athens523360
Auglaize501687
Mercer487285
Shelby476295
Knox4568112
Madison443765
Ashland435197
Putnam4334103
Fulton431871
Defiance431798
Crawford4033110
Brown401961
Logan387377
Preble3847103
Clinton378566
Ottawa372781
Highland359465
Williams347878
Champaign343858
Guernsey324253
Jackson317554
Perry297150
Morrow291340
Fayette285350
Hardin274865
Henry273267
Holmes2699101
Coshocton268459
Van Wert247264
Adams242956
Pike242735
Gallia240550
Wyandot234556
Hocking220162
Carroll196948
Paulding176342
Meigs148240
Monroe136144
Noble135839
Harrison113738
Morgan109624
Vinton85417
Unassigned03
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