LAWRENCEBURG, Ind. - A Walton, Ky., man appeared in an Indiana courtroom Monday morning after he pleaded not guilty to killing an Aurora woman at her home in March.
A pre-trial hearing began Monday morning for Charles Stephenson, 58, who is accused of beating 67-year-old Leigh Jennings to death with a pepper grinder and skillet and stealing $1,000 in cash from her to repay a debt to one of his family members. The pair were friends and often dined together, according to Jennings’ family members.
Jennings was found dead in her Aspen Ridge Drive home on April 5. Police said she was murdered on March 29. The cause of death was determined to be blunt force trauma, which caused multiple skull fractures.
Stephenson was being held in Kentucky on charges of evidence tampering and drug trafficking, but those have been put on hold until the completion of the Indiana case. The evidence tampering charge stemmed from Stephenson's alleged attempt to clean blood from his car outside his Walton apartment. The drug count was because of evidence police say they found there while executing a search warrant on the property in April.
Stephenson is the nephew of Bill and Peggy Stephenson. The couple was found murdered in their Florence home a year ago. That case remains unsolved.
Stephenson is being held at the Dearborn County Jail. Stephenson’s pre-trial hearing took place at the Dearborn Superior Court in Lawrenceburg.
Stay with 9 News and WCPO.com for updates as they become available.
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