Trial is underway this week in Nelson County for the woman accused of setting a fatal house fire in 2009. Linda Campbell Blackwell is facing charges for arson, murder and obtaining money by false pretenses.
Monday her daughter, son and family friends took the stand. They were questioned about three different house fires at Blackwell's homes - a deadly one in 2009, another one 2012 and a third in 2013, the latter two in the same home. The 2009 blaze killed a family friend and hurt her husband.
The charges against Blackwell follow a lengthy investigation by state police and the Nelson County Sheriff's Office. She pleaded not guilty to all of the charges.
Blackwell is accused of setting her home on fire on purpose to collect cash through insurance. She collected $475,000 from Allstate insurance after the deadly 2009 fire, according to WSET-TV in Lynchburg.
After the second fire, she cashed in on more than $300,000 from Liberty Mutual insurance. The same insurance company denied her claim after the 2013 fire.
Monday her son John Campbell said a week before the 2009 fire there was a near-fire incident inside his mother’s home. He said he had noticed a clockradio smoking. He said he thinks it was a bad short.
The trial will continue throughout the week, and Blackwell's husband and fire officials are expected to testify.
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