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Susan Barksdale pleads guilty to manslaughter in 2019 death of Frank Bligh

Blane Barksdale has a plea hearing set for Friday, Nov. 19.
Published: Nov. 16, 2021 at 6:40 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - One of the suspects from a 2019 homicide has reached a plea deal in the case.

Susan Barksdale pleaded guilty to manslaughter Wednesday, Nov. 10, in connection with the death of Frank Bligh in Tucson in April 2019.

The 61-year-old Susan Barksdale and her husband Blane Barksdale had been facing first-degree murder charges. She is set to be sentenced Friday, Dec. 10.

Blane Barksdale is facing a murder charge in connection with the April 2019 death of Frank...
Blane Barksdale is facing a murder charge in connection with the April 2019 death of Frank Bligh in Tucson.(Tucson Police Department)

The 58-year-old Blane Barksdale has a plea hearing, status conference and Donald set for Friday, Nov. 19.

Bligh’s home exploded in April 2019 and his body has never been found. The Tucson Police Department said evidence found at the house led detectives to determine the fire was intentionally set. Additional evidence found during the investigation led detectives to obtain arrest warrants for the Barksdales.

Frank Bligh's Tucson home exploded and burned down in April 2019. While his body was never...
Frank Bligh's Tucson home exploded and burned down in April 2019. While his body was never found, Blane and Susan Barksdale were arrested in connection with his death.(Tucson Police Department)

The couple fled the state after the incident but was captured in New York in May 2019. They then escaped while being extradited back to Pima County.

A massive manhunt ensued and the Barksdales were found in northern Arizona after more than two weeks on the run.

Brent Mallard, the Barksdales’ nephew, has already pleaded guilty to arson in connection with the case.

Mallard has a sentencing hearing set for 9 a.m. Friday, Dec. 10.

Brent Mallard, the nephew of Blane and Susan Barksdale, has pleaded guilty to arson in...
Brent Mallard, the nephew of Blane and Susan Barksdale, has pleaded guilty to arson in connection with 2019 murder of Frank Bligh in Tucson.(Tucson Police Department)

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