Stephenson to be extradited to Indiana

BURLINGTON, Ky. - Charles Robert "Steve" Stephenson will be transferred to the Dearborn County Jail Wednesday afternoon to answer charges that he murdered and robbed Leigh Jennings of Aurora.

That was the arrangement disclosed in Boone Circuit Court Wednesday morning by public defender Steve Florian and Boone County Commonwealth Linda Tally Smith.

Stephenson, 58, is accused of evidence tampering and drug trafficking in Boone County but Tally Smith said those charges have been put on hold to allow Indiana authorities to proceed with their case.

Jennings, 67, was murdered inside her Aurora home on or around Thursday March 29 with police saying the alleged murder weapons were a large pepper mill and a cast iron skillet. Her body was discovered by a neighbor seven days later. Investigators say Stephenson killed Jennings for $1,000 he needed to repay a debt to an aunt. Stephenson was officially charged with that murder last week.

"This was a very violent death and it's very unfortunate and tragic for Miss Jennings and her family," Dearborn County Prosecutor Aaron Negangard said last week. "The evidence is just compelling that Mr. Stephenson committed this horrible crime."

Prosecutors haven't decided what punishment they'll seek in the case. If convicted, Stephenson could either be given a prison term of up to 115 years or be sentenced to death.

The Kentucky charges still remain and will be dealt with once the Indiana case has been completed.

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.

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