Craven had come a long way from her
working-class roots in Long Beach, California. She'd met and
married a charming airline pilot who gave her the life she'd
always dreamed of.
Together they had two
children and became active in their community. Stephen's long
trips left Adele lonely, but a remodeling business with a family
friend seemed to occupy her spare time.
Then, on July 12, 2000,
Stephen's body was found at the bottom of the basement stairs.
Cops investigating the brutal murder soon learned that Adele had
more than a business relationship with family friend Rusty
McIntyre. He was Adele's lover.
Police arrested Adele and
Rusty and charged them with conspiring to kill Stephen Craven.
Rusty confessed and gave the name of the hit man he claimed he had
hired at Adele's request. But Adele claimed Rusty acted on his
own, killing Stephen so he could have her to himself.
At trial, she testified in
her own defense, and the jury deadlocked. But prosecutors tried
again, convinced she killed her husband to get his life insurance
money. Halfway through the second trial, Adele decided to plead
guilty to conspiring to kill her husband. She was sentenced to
life in prison.
Adele Craven - Murder
Stephen Craven met Adele
Vicuna, who is Hispanic, in Southern California while he was
training to become a pilot in the U.S. Coast Guard and she was in
Mortician school. They secretly married shortly thereafter in
Eventually, Stephen became a Pilot
with Delta Airlines and they moved to Edgewood, Kentucky with
their two young sons. By the spring of 2000, Stephen and Adele
were fighting often and sought marriage counseling, as they had
done in years past. Among other things, he cited her overspending
and she said he wanted to have sex too often. Adele told her
friends that Stephen made her skin crawl and she wished his plane
would crash. Adele got $3,000 from her mother for a divorce, but
decided that it was not an option and hid the money from Stephen.
Adele led Stephen to believe that they were making progress in
counseling while she began her plan to kill him.
The Cravens were having some home
repair done and Adele befriended Rusty McIntire, the son of their
Contractor. McIntire also had a troubled marriage and the two
commiserated. Adele recognized how easily she could manipulate
McIntire and quickly began an affair with him. In no time she
convinced McIntire to help her kill her husband. She convinced
him that they would share Stephen’s $500,000 life insurance and
begin a new life together.
Unable to muster the courage to kill
Stephen himself, McIntire was convinced by Adele to find someone
who could do the job. McIntire turned to a construction site
laborer he knew named Ron Pryor who was known to be perpetually in
need of money and not afraid to do anything to get some. Pryor
was offered $15,000 and quickly agreed. A plan was made for the
evening of July 12, 2000. Pryor was to beat Stephen with a
crowbar and to ransack the home to make it look like a burglary.
McIntire purchased the murder weapon
the night before the murder and called Adele on a cell phone that
he had given her. The cell phone had become a point of contention
between the Cravens. Stephen wanted Adele to give it back, but
she refused. She claimed to be working with McIntire and told
Stephen that the phone was necessary. Adele and Rusty talked on
the cell phone often. In fact, cell phone records show that the
McIntire and Adele talked 502 times for a total of 1875 minutes in
the month before the murder. On the day of the murder alone they
called each other 22 times.
On July 12, 2000, McIntire and Pryor
met at 9 A.M. and they waited in a local Cemetery for Adele’s
phone call. They had planned to go to the Craven home that
morning to see the layout, and further discuss the plan for the
murder that night.
At the Craven home, Stephen and
Adele were planning for an upcoming vacation. Stephen had called
in sick and Adele was waiting for him to leave the house. Stephen
had called a friend in New York and since he could fly with Delta
at no cost, the two were going to meet in New York City to see a
Broadway Show. Stephen got Adele’s approval and called his friend
back to make arrangements.
Adele immediately called McIntire
and told him that they had to do it now. With their oldest son
away at a day camp, Adele let her other son go with a neighbor to
the grocery store, which provided the opportunity to get Stephen
alone. Pryor hid in the back of McIntire’s truck and they drove
to the Craven home. It was not unusual for McIntire to show up
uninvited as he was still working on a few odd jobs there. When
he arrived, McIntire told Stephen he was there to fix a faulty
showerhead in the basement. Pryor had hidden in the basement at a
prearranged spot where Adele had set up a mirror so that Pryor
could see when Stephen was in position to be attacked. Adele
lured Stephen toward the garage by telling him that their pet
ferret was loose, the signal for Pryor to attack.
As Stephen approached Adele, she
shut the half glass door in his face while Pryor attacked. He
struck Stephen a dozen times with the crowbar, shattering his
skull so severely that his brain oozed out of the fractures.
Adele stood at the window in the door watching the attack. As
they gathered by McIntire’s truck, Adele declared that Stephen was
still breathing. Stephen’s arm twitched in the large pool of his
own blood. She produced the Craven family handgun, a .38 caliber
Smith and Wesson, and handed it to Pryor. She told him to go in
and shoot Stephen. Pryor complied, shooting Stephen one time in
As Pryor began to change out of his
clothes, Adele again said that Stephen was still breathing. She
reloaded the gun, handed it to Pryor and instructed him to shoot
Stephen again. Pryor shot Stephen two more times in the head,
leaving bloody boot prints near the body. With the deed done, the
three went their separate ways. Adele told Rusty that the longer
it was before a body was found, the harder it was to establish a
time of death. A piece of information she learned while becoming
a mortician. A neighbor watched as McIntire and Adele drove away
from the Craven home.
Adele immediately went to the bank
and got a $4,000 cash advance from Stephen’s credit card. She
then met McIntire at a Verizon Wireless store where she paid
$1,308.36 on his delinquent cell phone bill. Adele gave McIntire
$1,000 to pay Pryor and the two had lunch. McIntire then met
Pryor and gave him the $1,000 cash for the murder.
Ten hours after the murder, Adele
came home and called 911 from a neighbor’s phone because “the
front door is standing open and there is a light on in the office
and my husband is supposed to be in New York”. When police
arrived they found the body.
Adele never shed a tear but tried to
appear distraught. Detective Wayne Wallace was asked by the City
of Edgewood to lead the investigation. An Edgewood Patrolman
informed Detective Wallace that recently, he had caught Rusty
McIntire and Adele Craven having sex in the back of McIntire’s
truck behind a local church. When Detective Wallace spoke with
Adele that night, she made no mention of her relationship with
McIntire. When Adele’s car was searched, it was discovered that
she had her passport, a file folder that included birth
certificates of her and the children, a bag containing makeup,
underwear, marriage counseling notes, a phone charger, and clothes
for her and the boys.
Evidence continued to mount against
Adele Craven. She told at least 8 people that she wanted Stephen
dead and even asked one to find her a hit man. She told her
babysitter that if anything ever happened to Stephen not to ask
her about it because she did not want to have to lie to her.
Adele was arrested 8 days after the murder. Adele maintained
innocence. McIntire refused to speak with Detective Wallace and
fled the country on a prearranged Disney Cruise, compliments of
Adele Craven (and her mother’s $3,000). When McIntire returned
from his vacation, he was confronted by Detective Wallace and
confessed, revealing the murder for hire plan.
Ron Pryor was immediately arrested
and also confessed to Detective Wallace. Their confessions led to
the retrieval of evidence involved in the murder. McIntire
discarded the bloody clothes and murder weapons at a local refuse
transfer station. The evidence was then taken to a garbage
landfill in Williamstown, Kentucky.
Six weeks after the murder,
Detective Wallace and others searched at the landfill through
three thousand tons of garbage for sixteen days and found the
bloody boots and shirt that Pryor wore during the murder. DNA
testing confirmed that they were covered with Stephen Craven’s
blood. McIntire had discarded the bullets in a wooded area and
led Detective Wallace to them. The FBI laboratory conducted
Comparative Bullet Lead Analysis and matched the rounds found in
the woods with the rounds found in Stephen’s head. The murder
weapons were never found.
With the Commonwealth seeking the
Death Penalty against all three defendants, a Judge surprisingly
severed their cases, forcing separate trials. A deal was made
with McIntire to testify against his co-defendants in exchange for
a sentence of Life without parole for twenty five years.
Pryor was tried in April, 2002 in
Kenton County Circuit Court and a Jury sentenced him to Death.
Adele Craven hired an aggressive attorney who successfully sought
a change of venue to Lexington, Kentucky. The time leading up to
the trial, and the trial itself was full of defense antics for
seven weeks, and resulted in a hung jury. A mistrial was declared
in December of 2002.
Prosecutors struck a deal with Ron
Pryor to escape the Death Penalty and testify in Adele Craven’s
retrial in exchange for a sentence of Life without parole. Adele
was appointed two new attorneys. In January of 2004, Adele Craven
was again tried for Murder in Lexington, Kentucky.
On February 19, 2004, after six
weeks of trial and at the conclusion of the Commonwealth’s case,
Adele requested to plead guilty to Murder to avoid a possible
sentence of Death and agreed to a sentence of Life in prison. She
waived any future appeal and was sentenced immediately.
Craven: Killing was my
Wife gets life after
admitting role in husband's murder
By Jim Hannah - The
Friday, February 20, 2004
LEXINGTON - Adele Craven's
3 1/2-year lie came to an abrupt end Thursday when she stood
before a judge and admitted she orchestrated her husband's
The confession and guilty plea came after
prosecutors had completed presenting five weeks of evidence in
Craven's retrial. They had called dozens of witnesses and
presented hundreds of pieces of evidence to show Craven helped
arrange the July 2000 killing of Stephen Craven, a veteran Delta
Air Lines pilot, in their home in Edgewood.
Witnesses said Craven hired a hit man, arranged
for him to ambush her husband in the basement of their home, and
stood by and watched as her husband was beaten and shot three
"There was not one event, piece of evidence or
testimony in the prosecution's case that convinced Adele to accept
a plea agreement," said co-defense attorney Kenneth McCardwell of
Louisville. "It was a combination of everything."
In exchange for pleading guilty to the charge
of complicity to murder, she avoided the possibility of being only
the fourth woman in Kentucky history to be sentenced to death.
Kenton County Circuit Judge Patricia Summe sentenced Craven, 40,
to life in prison. She will be eligible for parole in 20 years.
Prosecutor Luke Morgan of Frankfort said the
plea agreement was worth it, even if he didn't get a death
"The most important thing is she admitted what
she did," said Morgan. "She won't be able to file appeals for
years to come and harass the victim's family. This guilty plea
will help relieve the pain that family has felt."
The trial had been moved from Covington to
Lexington because of pretrial publicity.
Stephen Craven's brother, Bill Craven, rushed
from his office furniture business in Atlanta to catch the first
flight here so he could be in court to hear his sister-in-law
admit to the killing.
He clutched the hands of other Craven family
members, some of whom traveled from California, as Craven told the
judge she did it.
"I was stunned at today's developments because
she has denied it from the beginning," said Bill Craven, "but I
always knew she was guilty. It was so obvious to us."
Bill Craven, who is raising the Cravens' two
young sons, said he believes his brother would be satisfied. Bill
Craven said his brother wasn't a death-penalty advocate.
"To hear her say she is guilty is the most
valuable thing of all," Bill Craven said.
He said he soon plans to tell his nephews - now
10 and 12 - that their mother has pleaded guilty to their father's
killing, but he would avoid the gruesome details.
"That's for them to find out when they are
older," Bill Craven said.
Craven has been in jail since a few weeks after
Bill Craven has also filed a wrongful death
suit against Craven in Kenton County circuit court. It was unclear
Thursday whether the family will pursue that lawsuit.
The plea brings to an end a long legal battle.
Craven's first trial ended with a hung jury in December 2002.
Eight of the jurors wanted to acquit Craven.
In order to present a stronger case for the
retrial, Morgan made a deal with the hit man, Ronald Scott Pryor.
Pryor, already found guilty of murder, avoided the possibility of
being sentenced to death in exchange for testifying against
Pryor told jurors how Craven wanted her husband
killed, paid him $1,000, and even stuck a gun in his hand and
said, "finish the job."
Craven's reputed lover, Russell "Rusty"
McIntire, also testified against the woman as part of a plea deal.
McIntire told jurors that Craven had promised
him an easy life if he helped her in the killing. He said Craven
planned to collect on her husband's life insurance and marry him.
"We finally have closure today," said Morgan.
"Adele Craven hurt so many people."
Craven admits role in
Paul A. Long
February 20, 2004
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- After 3½ years of
proclaiming her innocence, Adele Craven now has two important
people to confess to -- her sons, Daniel, 12, and Joseph, 10.
By mail and by phone, Ms. Craven had assured
them she had nothing to do with the brutal killing of their
father, Stephen Craven, in 2000.
But on Thursday in a Fayette County courtroom,
she changed her story and admitted that she had planned and
participated in the gruesome slaying. In an agreement reached
after hours of intense negotiations, she brought her second trial
to an abrupt end by pleading guilty to murder and accepting a
sentence of life in prison.
four attorneys helped her navigate her way through the two trials
and countless hearings in the justice system, she will be on her
own in explaining her actions to her boys, who are living with
their aunt and uncle in Georgia.
"It's going to be very difficult to tell them,"
said William Wilson, one of her attorneys. "But it's something
only she can do."
Ms. Craven admitted she conspired with Ronald
Pryor and Russell "Rusty" McIntire to kill Stephen Craven in the
basement of the Cravens' Edgewood, Ky., home on July 12, 2000.
Prosecutors said she wanted to continue her affair with McIntire
and collect on a $450,000 insurance policy. Pryor agreed to do the
killing for $15,000.
"She deserved more, but this guilty plea
prevents her from filing appeals,'' said Assistant Attorney
General Luke Morgan, who prosecuted the case.
"The family will be spared the arguments of an
appeal. The community will be spared the question of what an
appeals court may do.
"This shows now, beyond any doubt, that she did
this, and it shows (the community) who the three people were who
murdered this fine man in his own home -- - and that they did it
because of greed."
Pryor and McIntire previously have pleaded
guilty. Ms. Craven's first trial ended in a hung jury.
Her guilty plea on Thursday came during a trial
in which the tide seemed to be turning against her. Defense
attorneys could not shake the testimony of Pryor, who put her at
the scene watching her husband being beaten to death.
The lead investigator, Kenton County Police
Detective Wayne Wallace, had won over the jury with his
plain-spoken style. And prosecutors were preparing evidence that
would damage the credibility of a key defense witness.
So before the defense began presenting its
witnesses Thursday, Wilson and his partner, Kenneth McCardwell,
met with Morgan. Plea negotiations, always bubbling in the
background, were about to resume with vigor.
Defense attorneys wanted Ms. Craven to be able
to continue to proclaim her innocence and to have a hope of
getting out of prison one day. Morgan wanted her to remain in jail
forever and insisted she admit her guilt.
They soon reached an agreement -- Ms. Craven
would admit she was guilty in return for a life sentence with a
chance of parole in 20 years.
All that was left was to tell Stephen Craven's
family and discuss the wording of what she would admit doing.
By 11 a.m., Sue Craven was calling her husband,
William "Bill" Craven Jr., Stephen Craven's older brother and the
custodial parent of the two boys, at the family business in
northern Georgia. Get to the courtroom, she told him.
Bill Craven rushed to the Atlanta airport,
hopped on a Delta flight, and was in Lexington by 2:30 p.m.
"I wasn't happy with the deal when Luke
(Morgan) first explained it," Bill Craven said. "But the more I
considered it, the better I liked it.
"The best part of the deal is that she is
admitting guilt, and signing a statement of guilt. I don't think
she'll ever be let out of prison."
Shortly after 3 p.m., a teary-eyed Adele Craven
entered the courtroom, wearing a calf-length black skirt and a
black and white sweater. Flanked by her attorneys, she looked
straight ahead before sitting down between them.
Sitting behind her were her brother, a sister,
a childhood friend from California and several Northern Kentucky
On the other side of the courtroom, sitting
behind Morgan, were Stephen Craven's family -- his mother, his
brother and sister-in law, and one of his sisters.
The hand she raised to swear an oath shook
visibly. Throughout the proceeding, she wept openly, hugging
herself with one hand on her neck, a tissue clenched in her fist.
Her voice cracked as she identified herself.
Her brief answers to questions posed by Kenton Circuit Judge
Patricia Summe were quiet and punctuated by sobs.
Steven Craven's mother was not moved.
"She was crying for herself," said Garnet
Craven, who came from Palm Springs, Calif., to attend, and was
there nearly every day of both trials.
"She killed him many times. She planned it. She
called him down the stairs. She handed the gun to (Pryor) two
"She made many, many conscious efforts to kill
During the hearing, Morgan read a
page-and-a-half statement of facts outlining the killing.
"Ronald Pryor hit Mr. Craven several times with
a crowbar and shot him three times in the head'' -- here, Morgan's
voice rose dramatically, and he lifted his eyes from the document
and looked directly at Adele Craven -- "at the direction of the
co-defendants, Adele Craven and Rusty McIntire.
The statement ended: "Pryor and McIntire left
the home. The crowbar and handgun were also placed inside a
garbage bag that McIntire took from the residence. Adele Craven
was still there when McIntire and Pryor left."
When Ms. Craven pleaded guilty, Summe
immediately sentenced her to life in prison.
After the hearing, Ms. Craven was returned to
the Kenton County Jail, where she has been since her arrest a week
after the killing. Soon, she will be moved to the Kentucky
Correctional Institute for Women in Pewee Valley to serve her
She will receive credit for time served, and
likely will meet the Parole Board for the first time in late 2020.
Summe then went into the jury room to tell the
14-member panel, who had sat through the six-week trial, that
their services no longer were needed. Ms. Craven had pleaded
guilty, she told them. Immediately, they took a poll. All 14
members were convinced of her guilt.
Then, they came into the courtroom to
commiserate with Stephen Craven's family and express their
But despite their unanimous vote, jurors were
undecided on the death penalty. And Bill Craven said for the first
time that he was not in favor of killing the mother of his
He said he held his tongue during the
proceedings because he didn't want to hurt the prosecution's case.
But, he said, he would have told jurors not to put Adele Craven on
"I would have said we don't want the death
penalty," Bill Craven said.
"Steve would not have wanted it. For Steve's
legacy, and for Dan and Joe, we would not have wanted it."
The case of Adele
Jury must decide
role in killing of husband
By Jim Hannah - The Cincinnati Enquirer
December 5, 2002
LEXINGTON - Stephen
Craven suffered 12 blows to the head from a crowbar, but he still
Prosecutor Luke Morgan says Adele Craven heard
her husband gasp, shoved a pistol into a hit man's hand, and
ordered him to finish the job. When that bullet failed to silence
the Delta Air Lines pilot, he says, Ms. Craven reloaded the .38
caliber revolver and issued an order to shoot twice more.
Ms. Craven, a licensed mortician, faces the
death penalty if convicted of complicity to murder Mr. Craven, 38,
in July 2000. He was found face down in a pool of blood in the
basement of his Edgewood home.
She would become only the fourth woman in
Kentucky history sent to death row.
Defense attorney Deanna Dennison, famed for
getting Covington resident Michael Funk acquitted of murder
charges in the 1990s, contends Ms. Craven loved her husband and
had nothing to do with the killing.
In the defense's view, Mr. Craven was killed by
a hit man hired by the handyman who remodeled the Craven basement.
The handyman, Russell "Rusty" McIntire, was off his
anti-depressant medication, drinking heavily and obsessed with Ms.
Craven, the defense says. The theory is he stalked her, spied on
her and seduced her, but when Ms. Craven ultimately rejected him,
Mr. McIntire decided to kill Mr. Craven and hired the hit man on
As the Fayette County jury decides which of
these widely divergent accounts to believe, the trial - now in its
sixth week - is already the longest-running criminal case in
Fayette County in recent memory.
The cost of having to conduct the trial 80
miles south of Cincinnati - the trial was moved because of
pretrial publicity - is creating a price tag much higher than
other capital cases.
Jurors are being asked to sort out two starkly
opposite claims - Adele Craven either plotted to kill her husband
and participated, or she had nothing to do with it and wasn't even
there when it happened.
Two and a half years after Stephen Craven took
his final breath, 10 women and two men are about to decide who was
ultimately responsible for his death.
A love-triangle plot
arguments on Wednesday, Mr. Morgan said Ms. Craven, 39, of
Edgewood was a cheating wife who wished her husband's plane would
crash so she could collect on a $500,000 life insurance policy.
Mr. Morgan and co-prosecutor Christina Brown,
both assistant attorneys general, spent three weeks calling five
dozen witnesses and entering 229 exhibits. The courtroom has
several black trunks filled with evidence, transcripts and other
items used in the trial. The defense alone had 2,000 pages of
The prosecution called Ms. Craven's beautician,
her marriage counselor, her neighbors and her sister to try to
establish that she was in a troubled marriage, talked of having
her husband killed and acted strange on the day of the killing.
But their star witness was Mr. McIntire.
"I talked with her (Adele) about different ways
to ambush Stephen," said Mr. McIntire, who rarely looked at Ms.
Craven while on the stand. "Options included on a bike trail, on
his boat and in the house. She (Adele) even discussed killing him
herself. She told me if she ever got the chance, she would shoot
Mr. Morgan contends Ms. Craven duped her lover,
Mr. McIntire, 34, of Erlanger, into hiring a hit man after she
failed to recruit anyone for the job herself. Mr. McIntire, a
Delta Air Lines baggage handler by night and a handyman by day,
had begun an affair with Ms. Craven after he was hired to remodel
the Cravens' walkout basement.
Mr. McIntire, the prosecution says, hired
Ronald Scott Pryor, 35, of Independence to be the triggerman. He
hid behind a sofa in the basement as Ms. Craven lured her husband
down the stairs by yelling, "Honey, the ferret is loose!" The
Craven family kept the pet caged in the attached garage.
Ms. Craven and Mr. McIntire locked the doors to
the basement so Mr. Craven wouldn't be able to escape the
crowbar-swinging Mr. Pryor, the prosecution says. To ensure the
neighbors on their quiet cul-de-sac wouldn't hear a yell for help,
Mr. McIntire then turned up the stereo in his truck parked
In April, a Kenton County jury recommended that
Mr. Pryor, described at trial by his defense attorneys as a "slow
thinker," be sentenced to death. Kenton Judge Patricia Summe must
decide whether to follow the jury's request or sentence Mr. Pryor
to a lesser punishment during a sentencing hearing.
Mr. McIntire turned against Ms. Craven - a
woman he had called his "soul mate" - testifying against her in
exchange for a plea deal of life in prison with the possibility of
parole after 25 years.
Or, jealous lover
Deanna Dennison of Covington and Linda A. Smith of Florence
contend Ms. Craven ended the affair with Mr. McIntire before the
murder, but the two remained friends. The Cravens were trying to
get their relationship back on track by seeing a marriage
That set off Mr. McIntire, who had emotional
problems, she said. In one angry outburst, he had even choked a
fellow Delta employee, Ms. Dennison said.
"He was losing her and he knew it," Ms.
Mr. McIntire had access to the house and could
have broken into the family's gun closet and taken Mr. Craven's
pistol, she said.
The night before the murder, Ms. Dennison said,
Mr. McIntire bought two crowbars at Home Depot. She suggested that
Mr. McIntire and Mr. Pryor ganged up on Stephen Craven together
while Ms. Craven was out of the house getting her youngest son
from a neighbor.
She had no idea that her husband was being
bludgeoned, Ms. Dennison said, and never would have arranged such
a brutal murder when her children could have walked in on the
Mr. Craven was struck 12 times in the head with
a crowbar and shot three times in the head, the county coroner
In her own defense
The defense's star
witness was Ms. Craven herself. She testified for about 14 hours
over two days, often speaking is such a low voice that jurors
complained they could not hear her.
"Rusty implicated me to save his own skin," Ms.
Craven said before breaking down in tears. "He is betraying me."
Ms. Craven testified that though Mr. Craven was
a very "structured" person who complained about her weight (125
pounds) and spending habits, she loved him and would never kill
Ms. Dennison, using a similar tactic to that
which helped destroy the murder case against convicted child
molester Michael Funk, questioned the timeline of the murder.
Ms. Dennison called a 14-year-old neighbor girl
to the stand who testified she saw Mr. Craven standing in the
doorway of his home at 10:50 a.m. on the day of the killing.
That would put Mr. Craven's death about an hour
later than what the prosecution claims, opening the door to the
defense claim that Ms. Craven was running errands at the time.
Despite being held in Lexington, the trial has
been attended by former jurors from Mr. Pryor's trial, attorneys
from throughout the state and even police cadets. Mr. Craven's
parents, both retired, have been in the courtroom almost every
day. Members of Ms. Craven's family, many of whom live in
California, have rarely been present.
The Cravens' two sons, Joseph, 8, and Daniel,
11, now live with a paternal uncle and have not been in
attendance. Family members say the children have not been told of
the full circumstances surrounding their father's death.
The state took so much interest in the Craven
case that it is being prosecuted directly out of Attorney General
Ben Chandler's office.
The state is also taking a gamble in asking for
the death penalty. Only three women have ever been sent to
Kentucky's death row, and the death sentence was overruled in two
of those cases.
Although it might be months for the final
figure to be tallied, the Craven case is costing thousands of
dollars more than the typical murder prosecution.
The trial was moved from Covington to
Lexington, forcing the state to fly or drive in nearly every
witness called by both the prosecution and defense.
Witnesses have been flown in from California
and Kansas. The state is paying for Ms. Craven's defense after she
was declared indigent. Kenton County workers are racking up
overtime for testimony about the investigation.
The judge, two bailiffs and a court clerk are
all staying overnight in Lexington - at the tony Gratz Park Inn -
as the trial moves along slowly and meticulously.
The jury was sequestered Wednesday night and
will begin deliberations at 9 a.m. today. Closing arguments
Wednesday lasted from 9:30 a.m. until shortly after 8 p.m., with a
one-hour break for lunch.
This stay-at-home Edgewood mom, 39, could be sent to death row
if convicted of conspiring with her lover to hire a hit man to
kill her husband. Raised in California, she studied mortuary
science before her 1989 marriage.
Russell "Rusty" McIntire
The 34-year-old from Erlanger, a Delta Air Lines baggage
handler and handyman, is the prosecution's star witness. Ms.
Craven's former lover, he agreed to testify against her in a deal
to avoid the death penalty. His wife has filed for divorce.
Ronald Scott Pryor
Mr. Pryor, 35, was found guilty of murder and was recommended
for the death penalty by a jury. The hired hit man from
Independence bludgeoned and shot Mr. Craven.
Ms. Craven's co-defense attorney made a name for herself by
successfully defending Michael Funk. He was ultimately acquitted
in 1994 of murdering Jenny SueIles, 7, of Covington after three
trials over a nearly five-year span.
Elected in 1994, she was Kenton County's first female circuit
judge and Kentucky's fifth. She is presiding in only her second
death penalty case in the Adele Craven case; her first was Mr.
11-year veteran as an assistant attorney general and head of
the special prosecutions division in Frankfort. Many of his other
cases have been in Eastern Kentucky.
The Minnesota native met his wife while stationed in
California with the Coast Guard. He and Mrs. Craven moved to a
home on Carimel Ridge in Edgewood in 1992 and Mr. Craven took a
job with Delta. Their two sons were 6 and 8 when their father was