Saturday, July 22, 2000

Wife held in pilot's slaying

Cops close-lipped; probe continues

By Jim Hannah and Reid Forgrave
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        EDGEWOOD — The wife of the Delta Air Lines pilot found shot to death in the basement of his home here on July 12 has been charged with his death.

        Adele Craven, 37, was arrested shortly after 6 p.m. Friday at a home in Crestview Hills, where she had been staying. Police said she didn't resist arrest. She was taken by an unmarked police car to the Kenton County jail. Officials said she showed no emotion as she was ushered from the car to the jail.

        She will be arraigned at 8:30 a.m. Monday in Kenton County Courthouse, when bail will be set.

        Stephen Craven, 38, was found dead about 8:30 p.m. on the 12th. Preliminary autopsy results showed he died of multiple gunshot wounds to his head. There were no signs of forced entry, and police haven't been able to determine whether anything was taken.

        An arrest warrant was obtained after an investigation pointed to Mrs. Craven as responsible for the death, according to a statement released by Edgewood police.

        When questioned, police wouldn't say whether anyone else was involved.

        “The investigation is continuing even though she has been arrested,” Kenton County Police Capt. Ed Butler said. “I don't know if there will be other arrests. It depends on what develops from here.”

        Kentucky law allows any participants in a slaying to be charged with murder. And police wouldn't say whether Mrs. Craven actually pulled the trigger.

        Authorities wouldn't say whether a gun had been recovered, or what the possible motives were. Although the initial search warrant of the Cravens' home indicated that financial documents were missing, Capt. Butler said he is not aware of any missing financial records.

        The couple's two sons, 6 and 8, are being cared for in the Tristate by a relative, Capt. Butler said.

        The news of the arrest spread quickly through the community.

        One woman who lives four houses down from the Cravens and would not give her name said, “There are 12 houses on this street. Nothing ever happens here.”

        The Craven family has been in the Carimel Ridge neighborhood 8 years. Nine of 12 homes on the street belong to original owners from its construction in 1949, one neighbor said.

        The street was quiet except for children setting off fireworks down the road and three television trucks. The Cravens' one-story red brick house was dark Friday night.

        “They were great people and good friends,” the next-door neighbor said, firmly closing the door.

        Mary Hoffmeister, also a neighbor, told reporters earlier in the week that the Cravens were often seen walking through the neighborhood hand in hand. Mrs. Craven told police she last saw her husband alive between 11 and 11:30 a.m., when she left to go shopping with their two sons. That afternoon, Mr. Craven was off duty, but the pilot was planning to fly to New York on a personal trip, police and neighbors said.

        When she returned home about 8:30 p.m., she saw the front door open and thought the house was being burglarized, Mrs. Craven told police.

        Commonwealth Attorney Don Buring didn't return phone calls left at his home. And Mrs. Craven's attorney, Deanna Dennison of Covington, couldn't be reached for comment.

        Cindy Schroeder contributed to this story.


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