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Pepper grinder killer sentenced Charles Stephenson gets life in prison

Charles Stephenson case: Northern Kentucky man sentenced to life in prison for death of Aurora woman

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AURORA, Ind. -- A Northern Kentucky man will spend the rest of his life in prison after a jury found him guilty of killing an Aurora, Indiana woman.

In May, a jury recommended that Charles Stephenson be sentenced to life-in-prison without parole for beating 67-year-old Leigh Jennings to death with a pepper grinder and frying pan.

A judge accepted that verdict Tuesday and sentenced Stephenson to life in prison without parole.

The murder was first reported on March 29, 2012. Jennings was killed in her Aspen Ridge Drive home.

After Jennings' death, police said Stephenson stole $1,000 in cash from Jennings to repay a debt to one of his family members.

Stephenson was found guilty on one count of murder and one count of robbery.

Stephenson is also the nephew of Bill and Peggy Stephenson. The couple, both 74, was killed inside their Florence home on May 29, 2011. That case remains unsolved.

During Tuesday's sentencing, family members and friends took the stand and spoke directly to Stephenson.

"You are a monster," said friend Tracey Doss. "When you take your last breath, you are not going to go where you want to go."

Jennings' two sons also took the stand. Brandon Siebe didn't hold back. "I can only imagine what God has in store for you. You took an angel," said Siebe. "You burn in hell you son."

Victoria Siebe, Jennings' grandaughter, also expressed her feelings. "I have some small measure knowing your last breath will be taken in a cell."

After the hearing, family members hugged the prosecutor and detectives responsible for putting Stephenson behind bars.

"The wheels of justice turn slowly but they do turn," said Ryan Siebe, Jennings' son. "The family is happy that my mother is getting at least the justice she deserves."


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