(Aurora, Ind.) – Dearborn County prosecutors will seek life in prison without parole for a man accused of murdering an Aurora woman.
Charles Robert Stephenson is accused of using a skillet and a pepper grinder to beat Leigh Jennings to death. The 67-year-old was found dead in her apartment on Aspen Ridge Road on April 5, 2012, investigators believe about a week after she died.
Prosecutors recently filed in Dearborn Circuit Court a notice of intent to seek life in prison without parole for Stephenson, 58, of Walton, Kentucky.
Dearborn-Ohio County Prosecutor Aaron Negangard said during a press conference announcing charges against Stephenson last May that the death penalty was a possibility in Jennings’ murder. If not life, he faces up to 115 years in prison if convicted on charges of Murder and Robbery.
Stephenson’s case is scheduled to go to jury trial on Monday, May 6. He has been ordered held in jail in Dearborn County pending trial.
Investigators allege that Stephenson needed to pay a court-ordered debt to a family member in order to avoid going to jail. He had previously borrowed $5,000 from Jennings. Following the murder, which detectives think may have occurred on March 29, Stephenson allegedly stole money from a safe in Jennings’ bedroom to pay the debt.