By Alex Bridges -- email@example.com
WINCHESTER -- Revenge spurred Fallon Nicole Racey and her boyfriend to stab and kill Todd Swartz near Middletown in 2009, a prosecutor claimed at the first day of the woman's murder trial Monday.
Racey, 25, of appeared in front of a jury with her attorneys, Carter Foulds and Rachel Collins, in Frederick County Circuit Court to stand trial on charges of first-degree murder, conspiracy and stabbing or wounding in the commission of the slaying. Racey pleaded not guilty when arraigned on her charges.
Swartz died from two stab wounds the afternoon of Nov. 21, 2009, near his home on Ogden Lane, according to authorities.
Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Ross Spicer stated in his opening arguments Racey and Robert Shifflett II, murdered Swartz, 39, the day after authorities came to the couple's nearby home, searched and seized suspected illegal drugs and paraphernalia.
"Revenge is as old a motive for murder as any and revenge was at play on Nov. 21, 2009, when the defendant right here, Fallon Racey, and her boyfriend at the time, Robert Shfflett, stabbed Todd Swartz to death," Spicer stated. "Mr. Todd Swartz was a young man, only 39 years of age. They were really taking revenge for Mr. Swartz having told them on to police the night before."
A jury found Shifflett, 29, guilty of murder and wounding while committing the slaying but acquitted him on the conspiracy charge at the end of a two-day trial Feb. 17. Retired Judge John Prosser sentenced Shifflett to 40 years for murder and five years with one year suspended for the related wounding charge.
Retired Judge Benjamin Kendrick denied a defense motion to dismiss Racey's conspiracy charge. Foulds argued the court should dismiss the count because the jury in Shifflett's trial acquitted the man of the charge.
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