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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Arson Case Delayed

Monday, October 23, 2006



Coalmont resident Bertha Bedwell will not stand trial this week for her involvement in a 2004 conspiracy to commit arson-for-hire case, but when she does go to trial it will be here in Clay County.

Clay Superior Court Judge Blaine Akers approved defense attorney Jim Organ's motion to review the transcripts of Samantha Bascom's September jury trial -- which has postponed the case -- but denied a change-of-venue motion because of pre-trial publicity.

"This is not unusual in these types of cases -- where two people are co-defendants," Special Prosecutor Hal Johnston said. "Many of the same witnesses that testified in the Bascom case are scheduled to testify in the Bedwell case."

In October 2005, Bedwell, 61, was charged with conspiracy to commit arson-for-hire and arson-for-hire, both class B felonies.

The charges stem from Bedwell's alleged involvement in a June 6, 2004 arson-for-hire scheme that destroyed a modular home owned by her daughter, Samantha Bascom, located at 6815 W. Public Road in Coalmont.

According to authorities, Bedwell, Bascom, Bascom's juvenile son and another juvenile were involved the scheme.

On Sept. 20, Bascom was convicted of conspiracy to commit arson for hire, arson for hire, fraud and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and sentenced to 11 1/2 years real-time imprisonment and ordered to pay a total of $78,400 in restitution.

Bedwell did not testify in Bascom's trial.

Bascom's son is scheduled to appear in Clay Circuit Court on juvenile charges for his involvement in the arson at a later date.

A new trial date will be scheduled for Bedwell in Clay Superior Court that will allow the defense ample time to review Bascom's trial transcripts.

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