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Mo. Woman Convicted in Deaths of Elderly Couple

Posted: Feb 4, 2013 6:37 AM by Associated Press

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EMINENCE, Mo. - A southeast Missouri woman has been convicted in the killing of a couple whose bodies were found inside their burned home.

A Shannon County jury deliberated nearly five hours last week before finding 35-year-old Melissa Youngblood of Doniphan guilty of two counts of first-degree murder.

The Southeast Missourian reports that the victims were 81-year-old Edgar Atkinson and 69-year-old Bonnie Chase. Their July 2010 deaths prompted authorities to reopen an investigation into the deaths of Loyd and Gladys Piatt three weeks earlier. Authorities determined the Piatts had been killed and not died in a fire as initially believed.

Youngblood wasn't charged in the Piatts' deaths. But her husband, David Youngblood, pleaded guilty in June to killing both couples. The Youngblood's daughter and her boyfriend also have been charged.

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