Murder charges against Ky. woman dropped
Kentucky officials have dropped charges against a 38-year-old woman who, along with her 23-year-old husband, were arrested in North Augusta late last month on allegations they were involved in a murder in the Bluegrass State.Angela Michelle Orenduff and Dustin L. Mackie, both of Kevil, Ky., had been linked to the May shooting death of 38-year-old Jon M. Crouch in Paducah, Ky. They were stopped in Aiken County a week after the murder and held for Kentucky police, but according to the Paducah Sun, a grand jury there will hear a murder charge against Mackie, but the complicity to murder charge against Orenduff was dropped Thursday.A district court judge in Kentucky sent the murder charge against Mackie to the grand jury after hearing testimony from Paducah police detective Mike Wentworth, who testified that the couple's dispute with Crouch involved money and drugs. Based on interviews of the couple and witnesses, Wentworth said it appears the couple sold Crouch crack cocaine that he failed to fully pay for, the Paducah newspaper reported.Several days later after the May 21 shooting, Paducah police received a call from police in eastern Kentucky with information about the shooting. Wentworth said he and Detective Joe Hays went to Whitley County on May 28 and interviewed Mackie's mother and stepgrandmother, who told detectives Mackie had told them about the shooting, according to the newspaper in Kentucky.When the Paducah detectives arrived in Whitley County, the couple had left. A trace on their cell phone showed they had traveled to South Carolina. A South Carolina state trooper found the couple outside a Murphy Village home in North Augusta on May 28.Troopers found a .25 caliber handgun in the car, with two bullets of the same brand found at the shooting scene, Kentucky police reported.Before police testimony, prosecutors told the judge the complicity charge against Orenduff was dismissed, but she was served with four arrest warrants. Wentworth said after the hearing that all four new charges - possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, hindering prosecution and crack and drug paraphernalia possession - stem from the shooting investigation. He said she has previous fraud, forgery and drug convictions.Prosecutors said after the hearing that the evidence against Orenduff for complicity to murder was insufficient to prosecute.Contact Karen Daily at email@example.com.