Friday, June 22, 2018
News Roundup

Woman claims she lived with dead body

HILAND PARK, Fla. — Authorities apprehended a woman who told them she killed her boyfriend in self-defense and had been living with his body for several days.

Melissa Kristine Kennedy, 42, had been caring for her boyfriend, 59-year-old Clifford Lewis, who had lung cancer, at his home for about a year. Officers found Kennedy in a truck outside the home Thursday, holding a shotgun and threatening to kill herself, according to Bay County sheriff's officials.

The Panama City News Herald reports Kennedy admitted killing Lewis and said she had been sexually and emotionally abused. Officers said Lewis had been shot.

"Kennedy told me she had been lying beside Lewis and talking to him," according to the incident report. "Kennedy also told me she 'still made him dinner' and 'took care of him' even after Lewis was deceased."

According to the police report, a family member had been texting with Lewis to make sure he was okay, but later suspected that Kennedy was actually the one texting.

Deputies eventually apprehended Kennedy and hospitalized her involuntarily under the state's Baker Act. They said they planned to file charges when she is released from the hospital, but did not elaborate further.

"She's in the cab of a truck, admitting to killing her boyfriend, threatening to kill herself and the whole time she has her hand on a shotgun," Maj. Tommy Ford said. "Our guys did a great job of resolving that peacefully."

Deputies said two shell casings fell from her pants pocket and were recovered at the scene.

Another man, Jason Cantrell, was arrested Friday after authorities said he brought a gun for Kennedy knowing of her intent to shoot Lewis. He was charged with principal to first-degree murder.

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