Friday, August 10, 2001

Craven property search legal

By Jim Hannah
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        COVINGTON — A Kenton County judge has refused to throw out evidence police gathered while investigating the brutal killing of a Delta Air Lines pilot in his Edgewood home.

        Circuit Judge Patricia Summe said Adele Craven — who faces the death penalty if convicted of murder in the death of her husband — gave police consent to search the couple's home and vehicles.

Adele Craven
Adele Craven
        The college-educated Mrs. Craven “knowingly and voluntarily” consented to four separate searches of her property, Judge Summe ruled.

        One point of contention was whether Mrs. Craven realized she was giving police consent to search the home when she called 911 in July 2000 to report an apparent burglary. When police entered the home, they found 38-year-old Stephen Craven dead in the basement. Police said he was beaten with a crowbar and shot three times.

        Mrs. Craven, 28, of Edgewood, and Ronald Pryor, 34, of Independence, are charged with murder and face the death penalty in connection with Mr. Craven's death.

        A third defendant, Russell McIntire, 33, of Erlanger has pleaded guilty to murder and agreed to testify against Mrs. Craven and Mr. Pryor. For his cooperation, he will avoid the death penalty. Prosecutors are recommending a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole for 25 years.

        Police say Mrs. Craven wanted her husband dead so she could pursue an affair with Mr. McIntire, and also wanted part of her husband's sizeable life insurance policy.

        The couple's two sons, 6 and 8, are being cared for by Mr. Craven's brother, who lives in Georgia.

        Judge Summe must now decide whether statements made by Mrs. Craven to police can be used in the trial. That question will be taken up at a 9 a.m. hearing today at the county courthouse.

        Mrs. Craven contends that police coerced her into speaking while her attorney was not present. Covington attorney Deanna Dennison, who is representing Mrs. Craven, is expected to take the stand during the hearing.


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