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Husband and Wife Murder suspects: Plea prospects raised

Attorney mentioned plea negotiations
Posted at 7:06 PM, Feb 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-10 21:06:07-05

TUCSON, Ariz. - A court hearing Monday raised the possibility Susan Barksdale might change her not-guilty plea in the murder charges she faces along with her husband Blane.

Tucson Police reports say Susan Barksdale was ready to say what she knows.

Homicide Detective Josh Cheek reported: "Susan said she was done protecting this 'monster' and she wanted to tell the truth about what happened."

Susan and Blane Barksdale knew Frank Bligh had a large collection of guns. Police say Susan told Blane wanted to steal the guns and sell them.

According to police she said she saw blood on the floor of Bligh's house and assumed Blane pushed Bligh down.

Bligh's car was found with traces of blood in the trunk but Bligh's body was never found.

The Barksdales did not come to court for this latest hearing but while discussing setting a trial date prosecutor Chris Ward nodded as Susan Barksdale's attorney mentioned plea negotiations.

Benjamin Mendola, "Even if we set a trial, I believe the state will be open to plea negotiations. I don't think that's a firm deadline."

It is not clear whether Blane Barksdale and his lawyer are also considering a change of plea.

Before they could be arrested in Bligh's death the Barksdales left Arizona. U.S. Marshals found and arrested them in upstate New York.

They were being transferred to Arizona when they overpowered the guards in the transfer van. It was nearly two weeks before Marshals found them in Northern Arizona and arrested them again.

But Susan Barksdale's told police Blane Barksdale might co operate with investigators. Susan told police while they were still held in New York Blane told her, "She would go free and he would make a deal and 'give them the body.'''

In about three weeks we may know more about whether there will be a plea, or a trial. That's when attorneys--and the Barksdales are due back in court.