By IVY HERRON
In less than an hour, the jury returned a verdict of guilty against Samantha Jean Bascom in Clay Superior Court Thursday afternoon.
Bascom was convicted of conspiracy to commit arson for hire, arson for hire (both are class B felonies), fraud (a class D felony) and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor (both class A misdemeanors) and she could face a sentence of up to 45 years in prison.
"Everyone involved in this case did an excellent job," Special Prosecutor Hal Johnston said after the verdict. "Their dedication to justice led to this verdict."
Superior Court Judge Blaine Akers set Bascom's sentencing hearing in September before Chief Detective Sergeant Rob Gambill took her into custody. She was booked into the Clay County Justice Center shortly before 1 p.m.
Bertha Bedwell, who is scheduled to stand trial for her involvement in the June 6, 2004, arson of a modular home at 6815 W. Public Road, Coalmont, told her daughter she loved her as Gambill escorted her out of the courtroom.
Arrangements were being made to have Bascom's two children from her relationship with ex-husband Jerry Bascom placed into his custody. Bascom's son, who is facing charges for arson in juvenile court, is expected to be placed in the custody of her parents, according to Gambill.
"I'm thankful to everyone who worked on this case," said Doris Robertson. "I'm happy justice was served."