Oct. 03--A Nelson County woman faces charges of murder and arson in connection with a 2009 house fire that fatally injured a man.
Linda Campbell Blackwell, 58, of Creekview Lane in Lovingston, was indicted by a special grand jury in Nelson County Circuit Court on Tuesday, according to a Wednesday news release from Nelson County Commonwealth's Attorney Anthony Martin.
She faces one count each of felony murder, arson and obtaining money by false pretenses related to the 2009 fire. Felony murder typically is charged when a death occurs in the commission of another felon and does not necessitate a specific intent to kill. It is charged as a second-degree murder, Martin said.
James Shelton Sr. was injured in a house fire on Creekview Lane on Aug 2, 2009. He died two days later.
According to a 2009 interview in The Nelson County Times with Linda Blackwell's daughter, April Campbell, Shelton lived in the Creekview Lane home with Linda Blackwell and her husband David Blackwell, who also was injured in the fire.
Linda Blackwell also is charged with two counts each of arson and obtaining money by false pretenses in connection with two more house fires on the Creekview Lane property -- one in February 2012 and another in May 2013.
She was arrested Tuesday and is being held without bond in the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail. An advisement hearing has not been set.
Authorities said in 2009 that Linda Blackwell drove three miles to the sheriff's office to report the fire after the flames prevented her from re-entering the home to use a phone.
April Campbell said in 2009 that David Blackwell ran into the house in an apparent attempt to help Shelton escape. Linda Blackwell found Shelton and her husband outside when she returned. David Blackwell was curled in a fetal position from the pain of his burns, according to April Campbell.
The fire happened on a Sunday; Shelton died the following Tuesday. During that week, Nelson County Sheriff David Brooks said investigators had not found evidence of foul play.
In his announcement of the indictment Wednesday, Martin, the prosecutor, noted the investigation spanned several years and was a joint effort between the Nelson County Sheriff's Office and Virginia State Police.
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