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Friends of Leigh Jennings shocked at details of murder

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AURORA, Ind. - Friends of an Aurora, Ind., woman, who was found murdered in her home, say they're outraged after hearing how their close friend was killed.

Prosecutors say 67-year-old Leigh Jennings died from blunt force trauma after being hit repeatedly with a pepper grinder and an iron skillet.
          
The suspect is 58-year-old Charles "Steve" Stephenson. He's currently being held at the Boone County Jail, facing evidence tampering and separate drug charges.
          
In Indiana, Stephenson faces murder and robbery charges in Leigh Jennings' death, after long being a person of interest in the case.

"It was a total shock," said one of Jenning's close friends, Laura Lesko.

Lesko says she wasn't ready to hear the grisly details of how their friend was killed. She learned about them, as she watched live coverage of the Dearborn County prosecutor's news conference Thursday afternoon.

"It's really hard to see that my friend has been killed with a peppercorn shaker and a skillet. And....what was my reaction... my reaction is that I'm glad he has been charged," said Lesko.

Lesko says she knew Jennings through a group of friends that talked or met each other almost every day.

After Jennings was found murdered, that's when Lesko and the friends started piecing information together.

"I went in and discovered that basically that his name was Steve and I seen him on Facebook and he lived in Kentucky and it just kind of made sense to me. That evening, we told some of the detectives and it went from there," said Lesko.

Lesko says she and her friends are still in pain over Jennings' murder and that she doesn't know if she'll ever have the strength to forgive the man who has been charged with killing her friend.

9 News asked Lesko if the prosecutor should ask for the death penalty.

"Yes, he should. If that prosecutor had one that he loved dearly and knew that someone is guilty for sure and you know for sure someone is guilty, then he should," said Lesko.

Lesko says that once Stephenson is brought back to Indiana to face murder and robbery charges, she will try her best to go to as many court dates as possible.
        
She says that she and her friends will want to be there in the courtroom for their friend.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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