Shemwell Paroled, Husband's Death Still a Mystery
By WestKyStar Staff
PADUCAH, KY - Penny Baird Shemwell was released from prison on Wednesday after serving six years in prison, but her late husband's 2006 death remains unsolved.
Shemwell was sentenced to 15 years in jail shortly after her husband's death, on charges of felony shoplifting, and possession of a handgun by a convicted felon. She has been questioned by Paducah Police about the circumstances of Frank Shemwell's death in a house fire on July 24, 2006, but has not given much help to their investigation. Several things contributed to the man's death, including smoke inhalation and blunt force trauma.
Detective Sargeant Brian Laird told the Paducah Sun Wednesday that he believes she knows more than she is telling, but did not say that she is a suspect. Police records show it is the oldest homicide cold case in the city. Laird says any new leads that he gets will be investigated, and anyone with information that would help should contact the department, or call CrimeStoppers at 443-TELL.
Penny Baird Shemwell's case was reviewed by a parole board on June 29, just before her scheduled release date of Wednesday. Under a 2011 law, prisoners' cases are to be examined by parole boards before their release dates. If approved, they can be released immediately. Shemwell was denied parole in 2007, 2009, and 2011.