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Chesterfield woman charged with felony murder and neglect in sister's death

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Chesterfield family disputes claim loved one died due to neglect
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Posted at 1:33 PM, Sep 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-28 18:27:06-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Chesterfield County Police announced Monday that 42-year-old Davina Blackwell has been arrested and charged with felony murder and felony neglect in connection to her sister's death in her Chesterfield home.

Melissa Pierce died inside her home in the 5100 block of Whetstone Road on May 24, 2019.

Police and rescue personnel responded to the for a report that a woman was in cardiac arrest. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Based on evidence at the scene, Pierce's body was transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

In January 2020, the Chief Medical Examiner determined the 47-year-old died of starvation, dehydration, neglect and ruled her death a homicide.

In a January interview with CBS 6, Blackwell said her sister lived with both mental and physical disabilities but was happy and healthy. She also disputed the neglect claims.

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Davina Blackwell

“They trying to say, that she was neglected. Melissa was never neglected at all, she was a nice loving person,” said Blackwell. “Now they’re trying to say if she was killed, if she was killed, killed by who? Cause it wasn’t by anybody here.”

On September 24, detectives served Blackwell, 42, of the 5100 block of Whetstone Road, for felony murder and felony neglect in relation to her sister's death.

Police say Blackwell was Pierce’s primary caregiver and Pierce’s medical records show a different story.

"Ms. Pierce was functioning somewhat normally, prior to miss Blackwell being her primary caregiver. And her health dramatically declined throughout the time that Miss Blackwell was the caregiver and hence we were able to bring those charges forward," said Lt. Brad Conners

Blackwell is currently being held without bond at Riverside Regional Jail.

Police say the investigation into this case is ongoing. Anyone with any information should contact the Chesterfield County Police Department at 804-748-1251 or Crime Solvers at 804-748-0660.