Saturday, November 23, 2002

Craven did not waver in denials


Interview was subject of testimony

By Jim Hannah
The Cincinnati Enquirer

LEXINGTON - Kenton County Police Detective Wayne Wallace interrogated Adele Craven for more than two hours in the days following her husband's brutal killing, She unwaveringly denied any knowledge of the particulars of her husband's murder.

Adele Craven
Adele Craven
In the taped interview, unsealed for the first time Thursday, Ms. Craven repeatedly denies any involvement in Stephen Craven's death. That interview was the subject of testimony for much of the three days Detective Wallace has been on the stand in the Lexington murder trial of the Edgewood woman.

During the interview, which turned heated and confrontational toward the end, Ms. Craven appeared to get frustrated but never wavered from her original denial.

Detective Wallace asked: "Who shot him? Who beat him? Why won't you tell me, Adele?"

Ms. Craven responded after each question with the same answer: "I don't know."

During three weeks of testimony from more than 40 witnesses, the prosecution has tried to convince the jury that Ms. Craven presided over her husband's killing, even handing a loaded gun to the already-convicted hit man so he could "finish off the job."

In April, a Kenton County jury recommended death for Ronald Scott Pryor in connection with the killing. The 35-year-old Independence man was hired for a reported $15,000 to kill Mr. Craven, a 38-year-old Delta Air Lines pilot and father of two.

Ms. Craven has always maintained her innocence. Her defense argues that the man she had an affair with, Russell "Rusty" McIntire, acted alone in hiring Mr. Pryor to kill Mr. Craven.

Mr. McIntire, 34, of Erlanger, agreed to testify against Ms. Craven and Mr. Pryor in exchange for life in prison without the possibility of parole for 25 years. Ms. Craven, 39, faces death if found guilty of murder.

Friday's testimony wraps up the fourth week of the trial.

People from across the country have attended parts of the trial despite it being moved to Lexington because of pretrial publicity. They include members of Mr. Craven's family, former neighbors, jurors from Mr. Pryor's trial, a class of Kentucky police cadets and members of Mr. McIntire's family.

Ms. Craven, often wearing a sweater over a skirt and blouse, has also shown little emotion at the defense table.

Ms. Craven spends each day in the courtroom taking notes during witness testimony, talking with her attorneys and even helping the attorneys pack up their boxes of notes at the end of the day.

The trial has already taken longer than early predictions and it is unclear when the case might get sent to the jury. The prosecution has called more than 40 witnesses and has not yet rested its case. The defense then will have a chance to present its case.

Assistant attorney general Luke Morgan will call Mr. Wallace back to the stand on Monday. Court will only be in session through Wednesday of next week because of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Kenton Circuit Judge Patricia Summe dismissed a female juror Friday after a conference with the juror, prosecution and defense attorneys. The reason for the dismissal wasn't immediately known.

It leaves the judge with no alternates and a jury of 10 females and two males to decide the case.

Another female juror was dismissed two weeks ago so she could take care of a family emergency.

E-mail jhannah@enquirer.com




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