Charles Stephenson case: Trial begins for man accused of beating woman with pepper grinder

LAWRENCEBURG, Ind. - Jury selection in the case for the Walton, Ky., man accused of beating a woman to death with a pepper grinder and a skillet begins Monday.

Charles Stephenson, the 58-year-old charged in the beating death of 67-year-old Aurora resident Leigh Jennings, could face a death sentence if convicted.

Jennings was found dead in her Aspen Ridge Drive home in Aurora on April 5, 2012. Police said she was murdered on March 29. The cause of death was determined to be blunt force trauma, which caused multiple skull fractures.

Police say after killing Jennings, Stephenson stole $1,000 in cash from her to repay a debt to one of his family members.

Stephenson is the nephew of Bill and Peggy Stephenson. The couple, both 74, were killed inside their Florence home on May 29, 2011. Investigators say the murderer spent a significant amount of time inside their home after the killings, arranging the crime scene in a "unique way."

If convicted, Stephenson could either be given a prison term of up to 115 years or be sentenced to death. Jury selection starts at 9 a.m. at the Dearborn County Circuit Court.

Stay with 9 On Your Side and WCPO.com for updates as they become available.

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