Midstate woman freed after 42 years to await new trial

Written by The Associated Press | May 12, 2015 12:48 AM

(Carlisle) -- After 42 years behind bars, a midstate woman has been released from prison, pending a new trial in a double-murder arson case. 

 62-year-old Letitia Smallwood has been released from Muncy State Prison to live with her aunt in Carlisle. 

Four decades ago, Smallwood was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for crimes she says she didn't commit. 

Last month, a Cumberland County judge vacated her convictions, ordered a new trial and granted Smallwood unsecured bail of $20,000.

The judge says prosecutors relied on arson science that has been discounted.

The Cumberland County district attorney office has appealed to Superior Court. 

Prosecutors say a lovers' quarrel prompted Smallwood, then 20, to set the 1972 fire at a Carlisle apartment building that killed two people.  

Published in Carlisle, News

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