Prosecutors Won't Seek Death Penalty In Fatal Fire
(AP) PADUCAH, Ky. - Federal prosecutors will not seek the death penalty for a woman charged with killing two of her children in a fire at Fort Campbell.
The decision, made public Wednesday in an order from U.S. District Judge Thomas B. Russell, means 36-year-old Billi Jo Smallwood faces a maximum of life in prison if convicted of killing two children in May 2007.
U.S. attorney's office spokeswoman Dawn Masden confirmed that the death penalty will not be sought. Trial is set for Oct. 8.
Smallwood, whose family lives in Georgia, has pleaded not guilty to malicious damage and destruction by fire to property owned by the United States resulting in deaths at the Fort Campbell Army post on the Kentucky-Tennessee border.
Two children, 9-year-old Sam Fagan and 2-year-old Rebekah Smallwood, died in the blaze. Smallwood's husband, Army Spc. Wayne Smallwood, and their toddler daughter, Nevaeh, survived the blaze.
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