(04/27/2001)
Weston-AP

Greenbrier County Circuit Judge Frank Jolliffe will preside over the trial of a Lewis County woman charged with killing her three children in a 1997 house fire.

Barbara Brown's trial on arson, murder and conspiracy charges is set to begin June 25th in Lewisburg.

Lewis County Circuit Judge Thomas Keadle had asked the state Supreme Court to allow him to hear the case. But the court decided that when a change of venue is ordered, the local judge handles the case as if it had originated there.

Investigators say Brown and her husband, Ricky, torched their Weston home and deliberately left the children inside to die so they could collect some 85-thousand dollars in insurance money. Barbara Brown's three children died, along with two children of a former housemate.

Ricky Brown will be tried in Grant County. A date hasn't been set. In January, the Browns were cleared of federal charges of mail fraud, conspiracy and use of fire to commit a felony. They face life in prison if convicted on the state charges.


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