Woman Pleads Guilty for 'Free' Phony Ad

(AP) A woman accused of placing an online ad that led to her aunt's house being ransacked pleaded guilty in the case Monday. Nichole Marie Blackwell, 28, maintained her innocence but entered modified guilty pleas to second-degree burglary and first-degree malicious mischief.

Pierce County Superior Court Judge Vicki Hogan sentenced Blackwell to three months of electronic home monitoring.

Prosecutors had alleged that Blackwell maliciously posted an ad on the popular Internet site Craigslist on March 24.

The ad invited the public to "come and take whatever you want" from a Tacoma house.

The ad was titled "everything free," and said, "Nothing is off limits."

People took the ad at face value and carried off nearly everything, including the kitchen sink and the front picture window.

Investigators said Blackwell told them she posted the ad to get back at her aunt, who had been feuding with Blackwell's mother.

Blackwell did not speak in court, but told The News Tribune of Tacoma after the hearing that she took the plea deal so she could focus on caring for her father, who suffered a stroke in July.

"I didn't do it for whatever reasons they said I did it," Blackwell said. "I just wanted to offer it to people before it went to the dump."

Her attorney, Ted Rogge, said the ad was for items that were outside the house.

"Simple little mistake," he said. "No one was invited to go inside and no one was invited to take part of the house."


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