UPDATE–A Nelson County jury has found Linda Blackwell not guilty of first degree murder for the 2009 fire that killed a family friend at her Lovingston home. Blackwell was also cleared of an arson charge related to that fire, but the jury found her guilty of arson in two later fires in the same property. Prosecutors say she did so to fraudulently to collect insurance claims.
After more than four hours of deliberating Tuesday, the jury in the Nelson County Arson/Murder case did not reach a verdict and asked for a recess. Closing arguments were made yesterday during the trial of 58 year old, Linda Campbell Blackwell. Blackwell pleaded not guilty to one count of first-degree murder, three counts of arson and three counts of obtaining money by false pretenses. The charges stem from a 2009 fire at her Lovingston home that killed James Shelton Sr. and two subsequent fires at the same property in 2012 and 2013. Jurors will reconvene this morning.