Wife charged with Independence murder

06/07/2014 2:54 PM

06/07/2014 5:33 PM

Kristin A. Stephens, whose husband was found dead inside his Independence home on March 7, was arrested Friday in Cass County on a warrant for first-degree murder.

Charles E. Stephens, 65, had been found in his home in the 800 block of S. Jones Road. Independence police on Saturday reported the arrest and that Kristin Stephens will be arraigned on Monday.

At the time of the crime, The Star reported that Kristin Stephens, 49, had allegedly found her husband dead in bed at home about 6:30 p.m. after she had run some errands and visited a casino. She ran to a neighbor’s house for help.

“She came here pounding on the door,” neighbor Virgil Bybee said at the time. “She said all the lights were on in her house, and she thought her husband was dead.”

The Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office on Saturday reported that court records show that police were originally dispatched to the Stephens’ residence on a suspicious medical call and found Stephens dead in his bedroom with several apparent gunshot wounds.

Police later searched the residence and found the presumed murder weapon, a rifle, under a Jacuzzi-style tub. The rifle, records show, had evidence of Kristin Stephens’ DNA.

The prosecutor’s office reported that Kristin Stephens admitted to Independence police that she was having an extramarital affair and that the couple was in financial trouble. Security camera video, the office reported, showed that Stephens was not where she said she was at the time of her husband’s death.

Charles Stephens had retired after working as an exterminator and more recently worked at a hardware store, Bybee said.

“He’d do anything for anybody,” Bybee said.

Stephens and his wife married in 2005. He had two sons from a first marriage.

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