2nd Former State Senator Found Shot to Death This Week, This Time in Oklahoma

By Deborah Hastings
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For the second time this week, a former Republican state senator was found shot to death.

Johnathan Nichols of Oklahoma was discovered dead Wednesday inside his home from an apparent gunshot wound, according to the Norman Police Department. 

Investigators have not identified a suspect in his death, and few details were released by police, who cited an ongoing investigation. 

His death followed Tuesday's discovery of the body of former GOP state Sen. Linda Collins-Smith. Her badly decomposed remains were found at her Arkansas home, authorities said. 

That death is being investigated as a homicide, police said.

Oklahoma authorities told the Daily Mail the deaths are not related. Investigators are working with the coroner's office to determine the manner of Nichols' death, police said.

He served from 2000 to 2012. At the time of his death, he was an adviser to Oklahoma House Speaker Charles McCall.

“I am shocked and incredibly saddened to learn that Jonathan has passed away. He was a valuable member of my staff and a friend. Jonathan was a very proud man, but he served humbly," the legislator said in a statement.

Meanwhile, in Arkansas, a circuit judge has issued a gag order prohibiting the release of information from the police investigation. 

Collins-Smith first ran as a Democrat when she was elected to the Arkansas House in 2011. The pro-gun, anti-abortion politician switched to the GOP during her first term. She was elected to the Senate in 2014 and lost a 2018 re-election bid.

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