Woman accused of killing mother, stepfather appears in court - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Woman accused of killing mother, stepfather appears in court

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Courtesy: Jim Landis, Gastonia Fire Dept. Courtesy: Jim Landis, Gastonia Fire Dept.
GASTONIA, NC (WBTV) -

Christa Smith appeared in court Friday and denied being involved in the deaths of her mother and stepfather.

"It's not a deal that I'm just this bad person with malice," said Smith.

The 37-year-old initially said she smelled smoke in her family's home at around 5a.m. on February 18 and ran for help.

"I heard a big ole bang on my door...screaming and hollering..[she was] talking about her mama was in the house and the house was on fire," Neighbor Randy Jenkins said. Jenkins says he tried to save his friends but was forced back due to smoke and flames.

But, prosecutors in Gaston County say evidence at the scene doesn't match up with an accidental fire.

On Thursday, police charged Smith with two counts of murder.

They believe she started the fire that killed 78-year-old Ernest Adams and 58-year-old Angelo Wilson.

Prosecutors say at the time of the fire, Smith was caring for her mother who was a quadriplegic.

"We've identified some agencies that were looking into the safety and welfare of the mother at the time," said Locke Bell, Gaston County District Attorney.

But Smith says any suspected mistreatment of her mother is a misunderstanding.

She also told the judge she lost everything in the fire and can't afford a private attorney.

"At this time I've been living off of church family, family support, friends."

She maintains her innocence.

"I can stand here and look in your eye, I didn't do it," she said to prosecutors.

The judge gave Smith a $500,00 secured bond and appointed her a public defender. She's scheduled to appear in court on April 30.

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