(PADUCAH, Ky.) -- A judge revoked the bond of a woman who is the focus of a homicide investigation into the death of her husband, who was found dead after a fire in their house in July.
Penny Baird Shemwell, 41, was taken to jail Tuesday afternoon after McCracken Circuit Judge Craig Clymer concluded that she may not show up for future court proceedings. Clymer cited Shemwell's lack of cooperation with the investigation into the death of Dr. Frank Shemwell and a pattern of criminal activity in revoking the $1,500 bond.
A grand jury is investigating the death of Frank Shemwell, who was found dead in his kitchen on July 24 after a fire at the house.
Paducah police said the fire was arson and opened a homicide investigation.
McCracken County Coroner Dan Sims said an autopsy showed evidence that Shemwell suffered blunt-force trauma and the injuries, along with smoke inhalation, were factors in Shemwell's death.
Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Chris Hollowell said Tuesday that Penny Shemwell as the focus of the investigation into her husband's death. Hollowell said Shemwell has refused to answer questions from police and declined to testify before the grand jury.
Shemwell faces an Aug. 28 sentencning for shoplifting.
Penny Shemwell's attorney, Emily Roark, said her client is being punished for refusing to cooperate and that police do not have the evidence to charge her.
"They are punishing her because she didn't testify before the grand jury and because she had stopped cooperating with the investigators," Roark said.
Shemwell has denied involvement in her husband's death and said she believes it was an accident.
Commonwealth Attorney Tim Kaltenbach said there was a legitimate concern that Penny Shemwell would not show up for future court proceedings. Kaltenbach said police want to interview Shemwell because they believe she has information that is important to the investigation of the death of her husband.
"People sometimes have something to hide if they don't cooperate, and people who don't have anything to hide usually cooperate," Kaltenbach said.
(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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