Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Husband facing trial in slaying

Sept. 23 set in teacher's death

By Jim Hannah
The Cincinnati Enquirer

LAKESIDE PARK - A 41-year-old man who fled to Chicago after allegedly killing his wife could stand trial in Covington as early as Sept. 23.

"I'm not sure the DNA testing will be back by then, but I'm proceeding as if the case will go to trial in September," said Kenton County Commonwealth Attorney Bill Crockett. "We are already exchanging discovery with the defense."

DNA tests from the state crime lab have been taking up to eight months to process, according to law enforcement officials.

The trial date was set Monday morning after Dennis R. Greene Sr. was arraigned in Kenton Circuit Court. A grand jury indicted the Lakeside Park resident Friday afternoon on a single count of murder.

Greene, who worked for a home for troubled children in Covington, pleaded not guilty to the charge. He remained in the Kenton County jail Monday evening without bail.

Police have accused Greene of strangling and slashing the throat of his wife, Tara Barrett Greene. Police found the junior high school math teacher's body on May 5 in the couple's Derby Ridge apartment in Lakeside Park.

Court records indicate Greene told police he slashed his wife's throat because she had let their 7-year-old son go outside unsupervised.

The couple's son was home at the time of the killing and has been described in court as a witness, but it's unclear what the boy saw. His mother's body was found in a pool of blood on the kitchen floor.

The child is living with his maternal grandparents, but there has been a legal battle simultaneously going on in both Boone and Kenton counties over Greene's parental rights.

The killing of Greene's wife is one of two homicides this year in the normally quiet community of Lakeside Park, and a third happened in nearby Crestview Hills.

On July 12, 83-year-old Earl Rusche of Carran Drive was bludgeoned to death with an ice scraper. Two Northern Kentucky men have been charged.

Also, Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar manager Mark Smith was gunned down as he closed the popular nightspot in Crestview Hills in late April. Smith's homicide remains unsolved.

Lakeside Park and Crestview Hills are served by the same police department.


E-mail jhannah@enquirer.com

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