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Sister of slain woman indicted

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Deborah L. Smith, sister of slain Berryville Town Councilwoman Gail S. Smith, was indicted Tuesday on two new murder solicitation charges by a Nottoway Circuit Court grand jury, officials said.

She previously had been indicted in March on one count of murder conspiracy in a failed 2008 plot to kill her sister.

Gail Smith was found dead from a gunshot wound July 30, 2009, in her Pickett Court home in Berryville. No one has been charged in the actual slaying.

Her brother, Timothy Smith, is serving a two-year prison term after pleading guilty to one count of murder solicitation. That charge, as well as the new charges against Deborah Smith, are in connection to the same failed 2008 plot, said Clarke County Sheriff's Sgt. Travis Sumption, an investigator in the case. Deborah Smith has a court hearing scheduled for Jan. 20 in the case to appoint counsel, according to an online court database.

At the time of Gail Smith's death, the three siblings were involved in a civil case in Clarke County Circuit Court regarding the estate of their elderly father, who was considered mentally incompetent to administer his affairs. He died in February at a Richmond nursing home and left a $316,796 estate, according to court records.

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