A murder suspect in an Independence homicide investigation was recently apprehended in Creighton with assistance from the Cass County Sheriff’s Office.
Prior to her arrest, Kirstin Stephens, 39, was charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action following the death of her husband, Charles Stephens, 65, on March 7.
The victim was found dead at the couple’s home in the 800 block of South Jones Road in Independence.
Investigators in case believed the suspect was staying at a residence in Creighton. On June 6, Cass County deputies assisted Independence police officers in making contact with the suspect at the residence.
The suspect attempted to run from law enforcement, but was eventually caught and taken into custody.
According to The Examiner, an eastern Jackson County newspaper, court documents revealed the victim’s wife called 911 from a neighbor's home shortly to report finding her husband dead, with multiple gunshot wounds.
A search of the home revealed a rifle hidden beneath a bathtub, and lab tests confirmed it as the weapon that killed the victim. The only DNA found on the rifle belonged to Kirstin Stephens, the court statement said.
Investigators found that Kirstin Stephens was a heavy gambler and the couple was in financial distress. Their home had been sold for back taxes in November 2013.
During the investigation, Kirstin Stephens admitted she was having an affair. People who knew the couple told investigators they had heard her say that her husband was worth more to her dead than alive.