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Charles Robert Stephenson
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Charles R. Stephenson appears in court via video arraignment on Monday April 16, 2012. Ron Fischer
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Bond reduction sought for Walton's Charles Robert Stephenson

May be "person-of-interest" in IN and KY murders

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BURLINGTON, Ky. - The Public Defender for Charles Robert Stephenson said Tuesday he's working to try and get the $50,000 cash bond reduced for his client.

Stephenson, 58, is in the Boone County Jail on charges of tampering with evidence and trafficking in oxycontin.

He reportedly a "person-of-interest" in the Aurora murder of Leigh Jennings and is the nephew of a slain Florence couple, Bill and Peggy Stephenson.

Nobody has been arrested for either murder, although Aurora Police say they have an unnamed suspect in their case.

The arrest warrant for Stephenson states that the tampering offense occurred between March 29 and April 9.  Aurora Police say Jennings was killed on March 29. 

Steve Florian said he thinks a bond of $2,500 is more reasonable in the case, since he considers the charges "minor allegations."

Florian is working to get a bond reduction hearing scheduled, but said he may wait until Monday's preliminary hearing in Boone District Court.

"I want to hear the evidence they have to back up the charges," he said.

Mark Godsey, a University of Cincinnati College of Law Professor and a former federal prosecutor, said the so-called "holding charges" are fair.

"You pick them up on them to kind of hold them in place so they don't get away while you finish your case," he said.

Godsey said a good example is Timothy MacVeigh, the man convicted in the Oklahoma City Federal Building bombing.

"They didn't know who he was at first," Godsey said.  "They got him on some sort of speeding charges, started figuring out who he was and figured out a way to hold him until they could get the rest of the case together."

Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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