STUDIO CITY—Former television producer Jill Blackstone, 55, appeared in court on Monday, April 30 to face charges for her role in the death of her sister, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office revealed. Deputy District Attorney Gretchen Ford noted that Blackstone faces one felony count of murder and three felony counts of cruelty to an animal.
Blackstone was arrested on Wednesday, April 11, in Baltimore for her role in the murder of her deaf and partially blind sister Wendy Blackstone, 49, in March 2015. The Los Angeles Police Department’s Operations-Valley Bureau Homicide Detectives worked in collaboration with Baltimore Police Department.
According to the criminal complaint, Wendy Blackstone was allegedly killed in a garage by her sister on March 14, 2015. Jill drugged her sister Wendy and placed her in the garage of their residence on Landale Street along with three pet dogs. Jill set the garage on fire, killing Wendy and two of the dogs; staging the fire as an accident the LAPD noted. First responders found a deceased dog next to the Wendy’s body and two other dogs that were trapped inside the garage that fled outside when the door was opened, the prosecutor indicated.
Homicide detectives suspect the motive was Jill’s dissatisfaction of being forced to provide long-term care for her sister and financial hardship. Jill is known for producing the talk shows, “Jerry Springer,” “Divorce Court,” “The Rosie O’Donnell Show” and “The Sally Jessy Raphael Show.”
TMZ reported that Wendy died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning and Xanax was found in her body. According to reports, a suicide note was also found at the scene, which authorities later determined was written by Jill.
Jill’s defense attorney, Daniel Davis held a press conference addressing the charges against his client of murdering her sister.
“That is false. It is not factually sustainable. It is fake evidence, it is not true,” said Davis.
Davis indicated that Wendy Blackstone died as a result of barbecuing inside the garage and from carbon monoxide poisoning. “It is a horrific accident, that is not uncommon,” said Davis.
Her bail was set at $2 million. If convicted as charged, the defendant could face life in state prison. The case is still under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department.