Mother Charged In Deadly Fire Pleads Not Guilty

PADUCAH, Ky. (AP) - A soldier's wife has pleaded not guilty to charges of setting a fire that killed her two young children.

A judge's order also shows 35-year-old Billi Jo Smallwood pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a federal charge of attempting to destroy a residential facility for members of the U.S. Army that caused the death of two minors.

The May 2007 fire at Smallwood's Fort Campbell home killed 9-year-old Sam Fagan and 2-year-old Rebekah Smallwood and injured her husband, Army Spc. Wayne Smallwood.

The Smallwoods' toddler daughter, Nevaeh, was not injured.

Billi Jo Smallwood could face execution or life in prison if convicted. U.S. Magistrate Judge W. David King appointed a federal public defender for Smallwood, who listed no income since being charged.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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