Independence woman arrested in husband's murder

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. - The Independence Police Department arrested Kirstin A. Stephens Friday in Cass County on a first-degree murder warrant for the murder of her husband.

Charles Stephens, 65, of Independence was killed on March 7 at his home in the 800 block of S. Jones Road.

Witnesses at the time told officers that Kirstin ran to bang on their front door  that night after finding her husband dead.

“She came home and found Charlie dead with blood coming out of his mouth. She thought he was dead,” Virgil Bybee, next-door neighbor of the Stephens, said. “Well I just don't understand it, he was such a nice person I don't see why he would have any enemies at all.”

Stephens family was equally shocked by the killing .

“Never in my life would I expect my 65-year-old grandpa to be killed in his own home," Charles’ grandson Trever Stephens said.

The probable cause statement issued by the office of Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney Jean Peters Baker describes the financial stresses facing the couple, including large gambling expenses. This lead to the Stephens selling their home in November 2013.

The statement also noted that several people interviewed in the investigation reported hearing Mrs. Stephens say that her husband was worth more "dead than alive" to her.

Mrs. Stephens will be arraigned Monday at the Jackson County Courthouse.

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