Charles "Steve" Stephenson
Boone County Jail
Update posted at 10:38 a.m.:
The person of interest in the murder of an Aurora woman was in a northern Kentucky courtroom Monday morning to answer to unrelated charges.
Charles “Steve” Stephenson, 58, was arrested Friday for tampering with evidence and trafficking in a controlled substance. He pleaded not guilty to both charges during his initial appearance in Boone Court Circuit Court.
Authorities in Dearborn County and Aurora refused to name a suspect in the murder of 67-year-old Leigh Jennings in Aurora on March 29.
Original story posted at 7:36 a.m.:
(Florence, Ky.) - The Florence man reported to be a person of interest in the murder of an Aurora woman was taken into custody over the weekend.
Charles “Steve” Stephenson was arrested Friday evening by Boone County Sheriff’s Office deputies charged with tampering with evidence and trafficking in a controlled substance. The 58-year-old is held at the Boone County Jail on $50,000 bond.
Stephenson had been at Saint Elizabeth Hospital in Florence after a suicide attempt on Monday, April 9. Investigators were about to question him about the murder of Leigh Jennings. They had searched his apartment on Old Stephenson Mill Road a couple days earlier.
Aurora Police said Friday they had a person of interest in Jennings’ murder, but refused to say who that was.
Jennings, 67, is believed to have died in her Aspen Ridge Road apartment March 29 of skull fractures caused by blunt force trauma, Aurora Chief of Police Bryan Fields said. Her body was discovered by friends on April 5.
Stephenson is the nephew of Bill and Peggy Stephenson, a 74-year-old couple who was murdered in their apartment in May 2011. Their murders remain unsolved.
Two of Jennings friends, Laura Lesko and Lala Ullrich, attended the Aurora Police press conference Friday expecting to hear of an arrest.
“I’m really disappointed. I was glad (Thursday), I thought there was a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel, that there was going to be a possible arrest,” said Lesko.
The two had met through Jennings’ job cutting hair at a Florence barber shop. Ullrich said “Steve” would visit Jennings for dinner on Mondays and Thursdays.
Jennings died on Thursday, March 29.
"From the information we've heard, he was really dominant and she didn't want any so called relationship with this person. She just wanted to be friends and I think he wanted more," Lesko said.