STUDIO CITY

Years Later, TV Producer Arrested in Connection With Deaf Sister's Mysterious Murder

A TV producer who once worked on "Jerry Springer" was arrested Thursday on suspicion of murder in connection with her partly blind and deaf sister's 2015 slaying in Studio City, the Los Angeles Police Department said. 

The Los Angeles Police Department in cooperation with Baltimore police arrested Jill Blackstone on suspicion of murder and three counts of animal cruelty early Thursday at a hospital in Maryland. 

Homicide detectives contend that Blackstone, who also worked on shows like "Divorce Court," "The Tony Danza Show" and "Family Court with Judge Penny," drugged her sister, Wendy, on March 14, 2015. They then said she put Wendy, who was deaf and partially blind, and three pet dogs in a garage before setting it on fire, police said.

Wendy Blackstone, 49, reportedly appeared to have left a suicide note, and was found in the carbon monoxide-filled garage. NBC4 reached out to the coroner's office, but had not received comment. 

Jill Blackstone was reportedly arrested in the days following the death. Prosecutors, however, declined to file any charges, and she was released.

After a lengthy investigation, detectives now say Jill staged the death to look like an accident after growing frustrated with caring for her sister, and the subsequent financial burden. 

The complex investigation, which included numerous interviews and forensic evidence, ultimately led to an arrest warrant for Blackstone in March of 2018. 

She was in the custody of Baltimore police, and awaiting extradition. 

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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