Former Oklahoma Senator Jonathan Nichols, 53, a Republican was found shot to death inside his house one day after Former Arkansas State Senator Linda Collins-Smith, 57, was also found dead. Nichols, is the second state senator be found shot and killed in the past week at their home. Oklahoma police responded to a 911 call of gunshots fired from a family member in the home approximately 8:44 pm Wednesday night.
According to the Oklahoman, police found Nicholas dead from an apparent gunshot wound and found a gun across the room on a table. The Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s Office is performing an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death. At this time there are no suspects.
Senator Jonathan Nichols served in the Senate from 2001–2013. Prior to his career in politics, Nichols served as an assistant district attorney in Cleveland County for over six years During his time as district attorney, he worked on gang-related cases, prosecuted weapons and sex crimes. Nichols was working as a senior policy advisor for Oklahoma House Speaker Charles McCall at the time of his death.
House Speaker Charles McCall in a statement said, “I am shocked and incredibly saddened to learn77p[-7pgfoor that Jonathan has passed away, he was a valuable member of my staff and a friend. McCall continued, “ he was proud of his family and loved them deeply, he was proud of Norman and he was proud of Oklahoma” NonDoc.com reported
According to Oklahoma’s News 4 Sen. Rob Standridge, stated, “he was the most brilliant political, legal mind in the Oklahoma State Legislature.” Standridge continued to state about his friend, “my friendship with Jonathan touched every aspect of my life, and I will miss him dearly.”
Rep. Jacob Rosecrans, D, stated on Twitter, “I got to know Jonathan quite well as his state rep and when he worked for OU. He had the best stories and always had something positive to say.” Rosecrans continued,” a great loss to our community and our state.”
It is unknown at this time if Nichols and former Arkansas State Senator Linda Collins-Smith’s deaths are connected. Collins-Smith was also found shot and wrapped in a blanket at her in Arkansas home. Her death is being treated as a homicide and is under investigation.
The powers of the Senate are established by Article One of the United States Constitution. Each state is represented by two senators who are elected into office and hold a term for six years. There are three qualifications to be a senator, the person must be a minimum of 30 years old, they have to live in the state that they want to represent, and must be a US citizen for a minimum of nine years.