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Barksdale murder case: “She was the instigator", says victim’s brother

Susan Barksdale tries to bond out pending trial
Posted at 6:14 PM, Apr 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-08 21:46:17-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Susan Barksdale and her husband Blane were on the run from a murder charge twice. She’s asked a judge to reduce her bond so she can be out of jail pending trial. What the judge decided---and what the victim’s brother had to say about what he sees as Susan Barksdale’s role in Frank Bligh’s murder.

Frank Bligh’s body has never been found. His house was burned. Investigators say Blane and Susan Barksdale pawned guns from a collection missing from Bligh’s house.

Detectives say they were about to arrest the pair for Bligh’s murder when they ran off to New York state. After U.S. Marshals arrested them there, they escaped from a prisoner transport van bringing them back to Tucson. It was about two weeks before Marshals and Sheriff’s Deputies arrested them again.

Now Susan Barksdale’s attorney Suzanne Crawford says her client’s health is at risk in the jail and she should be free on reduced bond or held on house arrest until trial.

Crawford told Superior Court Judge Brendan Griffin: “She is not really at the stage in life where she is going to go out and start committing crimes. That’s not who she is.”

But prosecutor Chris Ward argued that is who she is---someone who’s shown she’s willing to run to avoid a possible life sentence for murder.

He says, “This risk of flight is not supposition or theoretical; it's already happened twice.”

Judge Brendan Griffin gave Frank Bligh’s brother William a chance to join the hearing by phone. He says Susan Barksdale was far more than an innocent pawn in a murder plot by her husband.

“She was the instigator of the whole thing. The way I look at it. So, I mean I just, I don't know. I just, I am very opposed to her being released.

Judge Griffin ruled Susan Barksdale’s bond will stay as it is----at one million dollars.