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Mother found dead in Florence hotel had stab wounds, detective says

Support group demands hate crime charges
Posted: 11:26 AM, Dec 07, 2018
Updated: 2018-12-07 17:36:13Z

FLORENCE, Ky. — Members of a Native American advocacy group say hate crime charges should be filed against a man accused of killing a mother of three at a Florence hotel.

Jesse James, of Burlington, is charged in the death of Amanda Webster . Florence police found her body inside a room at the Home 2 Suites on Woodspoint Drive on Dec. 1. The room was rented by James, police said.

Jesse James

A detective who took the stand at the Boone County Justice Center on Friday revealed that Webster was found with multiple wounds to her neck and sides. A knife, and possible weapon, was recovered at the scene, the detective said.

Police said James confessed to killing Webster. Police arrested him at a Raves Cinema where employees called police and said he was acting strangely. James is accused of giving officers a fake name and fake identification as well.

James is charged with murder, tampering with evidence and identify theft.

In court Friday, members of the American Indian Movement of Indiana and Kentucky were in court in support of the victim.

“I want him put away, I want him to pay for what he did,” said member Melinda Pennell. “I think he definitely saw her as an easier target because of that.”

Pennell said Native American women are ten times more likely to be victims of a deadly crime.

The following comes from the National Congress of American Indians website:

"Despite the federal trust obligation to protect Indian communities, violence against Native women in the United States has reached epidemic proportions and greatly exceeds that of any other population of women in the United States"

  • 34 percent of Native women are raped in their lifetimes
  • 39 percent are victims of domestic violence.

“Nobody should have to worry about that,” Pennell said. “I’m here and I’m her voice for that, because she doesn’t have one anymore.”

Webster was a mother of three children. She was from Arizona and was working in the Tri-State to support her kids, her aunt told WCPO . Her funeral is Friday.