The ‘Dateline’ episode titled ‘Hands of a Killer’ unravels the details of the shocking murder of former Arkansas state senator Linda Collins. She was brutally murdered in May 2019 by her friend and political aide Rebecca O’Donnell. Linda is survived by her two children Butch Smith and Heather Tate Williams, who were instrumental in ensuring justice for their mother. However, her former husband Philip Smith has been frequently mentioned in the investigation as well, making everyone curious to find out more about him. Here is everything we know so far.
Who is Linda Collins’ Ex-Husband?
Philip “Phil” Smith is a former retired Division 2 Judge of the Third Circuit of Arkansas who served from 2001 to 2017. Before that, he was a municipal judge for the city of Pocahontas and Randolph County. In February 2019, he received a reprimand from the Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission for using state computer equipment for extrajudicial activities. He separated from Linda in 2018 and was married to his second wife Mary at the time of the former’s death.
Even after their divorce, Phil and Linda were embroiled in a bitter legal battle over their assets worth $1 million. Moreover, Rebecca was a major witness in their divorce proceedings, while her long-term boyfriend Tim Loggains served as the power of attorney for Linda. Later, in October 2018, Phil filed an emergency motion against Tim to discontinue using the former couple’s joint funds. In addition, Phil had even asked for Linda to be arrested six months before her death and was later barred from hearing any future cases after being accused of tampering with his divorce records.
After Linda was murdered, Phil was unavailable for much comment but he and Mary were endangered when Rebecca tried hiring inmates in prison to get them killed. According to the inmates at the Jackson County Prison, she felt that Phil had falsely implicated her in Linda’s murder and that killing him would remove all charges placed on her. Thus, she tried hiring inmates to murder him and make it look like a suicide, and take payment in the form of gold and silver coins that he owned.
Luckily, the investigators caught wind of Rebecca’s intentions and she was charged with two counts of solicitation to commit capital murder and solicitation to commit tampering with physical evidence in her final sentence. Apart from this, Phil had previously stated that Linda possessed some of his gold and silver coins. These were the very coins Rebecca took from Linda’s home without her knowledge and then sold for a total of $15,100 in Memphis and Little Rock in 2018.
Where is Linda Collins’ Ex-Husband Now?
As per our sources, Phil Smith most likely resides in Pocahontas, Arkansas presently. He prefers to remain away from the public eye and does not seem to have any social media presence either. He also refuses to have any media interactions regarding Linda’s murder. Despite his troubled equation with his former wife in her final days, one can only imagine the effect of the entire ordeal of her untimely death and the events that followed on Phil and his family. Furthermore, the threat to his and his wife Mary’s life is sure to have added to the trauma. Thus, it is natural if he chooses to be private about himself and his loved ones.
Read More: Where is Rebecca O’Donnell Now?