Woman sentenced to 25 years for setting fatal fire

Woman sentenced to 25 years for setting fatal fire

Posted:

By BRUCE SCHREINER
Associated Press

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A woman accused of trying to collect on her Army husband's life insurance policy has been sentence to 25 years in prison for setting fire to her home and killing 2 of her children at Fort Campbell.

A sobbing Billi Jo Smallwood maintained her innocence at her sentencing Thursday in federal court in Louisville. Family, friends and jail guards portrayed her as caring and deeply religious.

The 39-year-old Smallwood could have been given life in prison.

Smallwood was convicted of maliciously setting fire to the two-story housing unit in 2007 while her children slept inside. Prosecutors say her intent was to kill her husband and cash in his $400,000 insurance policy.

The blaze killed 9-year-old Sam Fagan and 2-year-old Rebekah Smallwood.

Smallwood's husband, Wayne Smallwood, and their young daughter survived.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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