A former Oklahoma state lawmaker was found shot dead in his home on June 5, according to reports.
Former Republican state Sen. Jonathan Nichols, 53, was found dead in his home in Norman, Oklahoma, with a gun placed on a table across the room, reported The Oklahoman, citing police sources.
This comes two days after former Arkansas state senator, Linda Collins-Smith, 56, was found shot dead in her home in an apparent murder.
Authorities said Nichols was found after police responded to a property at the 3900 block of Annalane Drive around 8:44 p.m. on Wednesday. They are now working with the Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s Office to determine the cause of death, reported NY Daily News.
Nichols was elected as a senator from 2000 to 2012. He was serving as a policy adviser to House Speaker Charles McCall when he died.
“I am shocked and incredibly saddened to learn that Jonathan has passed away,” McCall said in a statement to The Oklahoman. “He was a valuable member of my staff and a friend. Jonathan was a very proud man, but he served humbly.”
Second Death in Two Days
Police are investigating into Collins-Smith’s death after her body was found wrapped in a blanket at her home on June 4, KAIT reported. They have treated her case as suspicious.
The NEA Report blog first reported the death. Sources told the blog that the death was not of natural causes. A neighbor said that she was killed by a gunshot while a law enforcement source said that it did not appear to be a suicide.
Her former press secretary, Ken Yang, told KATV that neighbors reportedly heard gunshots a day or two before the body was found.
“I am shocked and in tears. That’s my friend, Linda has always been there for me! I’m speechless,” Yang said in a Twitter post.
Collins-Smith, who was a Democrat who later changed to the Republican party, served in the state House of Representatives from 2010 before becoming a state Senator. She was defeated in the 2018 election.
Her official website described her as a businesswoman, an entrepreneur, and a community leader.
“She is a tireless advocate for conservative principles and traditional values. She believes in limited government, lower taxes, and ending burdensome regulations. She stands for a child’s right to life from conception, for religious freedom, for our Second Amendment rights, for individual liberty, and for greater personal responsibility,” it stated.
“She is a lifetime member of the NRA and founding member of the Friends of the NRA in Hardy. Linda grew up in the rural Arkansas Ozarks. She knows what it is like to carry water from the spring and cut her own firewood. Her background taught her the value of hard work, and the blessing of living in a land where everyone, from the poor country girl to the inner city street kid, had the opportunity to achieve their dreams through industry and determination. She has dedicated herself to the cause of restoring those opportunities to our children and grandchildren.”
Elected officials expressed their condolences after the news spread.
I am in shock over the news of Sen. Linda Collins-Smith’s death. I am heartbroken for her family & friends as they grieve, & my thoughts & prayers are w/ them during this tragic time. Linda was a friend who had a deep faith in God & passion for her state & nation. She is missed.
— Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin (@LtGovTimGriffin) June 5, 2019
“I am in shock over the news of Sen. Linda Collins-Smith’s death. I am heartbroken for her family & friends as they grieve, & my thoughts & prayers are w/ them during this tragic time,” wrote Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin.
“Linda was a friend who had a deep faith in God & passion for her state & nation. She is missed.”
“I’m saddened to hear about the death of former State Senator Linda Collins-Smith,” added state Rep. Rick Crawford.
“She always worked hard for her constituents and I ask you keep her family and her friends in your prayers as they mourn her passing.”
I’m saddened to learn of Linda Collins-Smith’s untimely passing. This tragedy is a shock to her community and our entire state. I am praying her loved ones and all those mourning her find peace and comfort in this difficult time. We are grateful for her service to Arkansans.
— Senator John Boozman (@JohnBoozman) June 5, 2019
“I’m saddened to learn of Linda Collins-Smith’s untimely passing. This tragedy is a shock to her community and our entire state. I am praying her loved ones and all those mourning her find peace and comfort in this difficult time. We are grateful for her service to Arkansans,” state Sen. John Boozman said.
NTD reporter Zachary Stieber contributed to the report.