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On April 20, 2000 Stephen returned home from dinner with his sister to find his fiancé, Heidi, murdered in their home in Dundalk, Maryland.

A couple of months prior to Heidi's murder, Stephen changed his life insurance policy & Heidi took out a new policy both making each other the primary beneficiary.  This has always been the motive the State has used in staying focused on Stephen as being involved in Heidi's murder.

Aside from the insurance policy, there was no connection or motive for Stephen to be involved in Heidi's death.  From the beginning, the police had recovered DNA from under Heidi's fingernails which did not belong to Stephen.  Despite that key evidence, Stephen remained the only suspect, according to detectives for several years after her murder.

About the Case

Stephen & Heidi's home in Dundalk, MD

In 2012 Alexander Bennett was arrested in Denver, Colorado and brought back to Baltimore to be charged with first degree murder when DNA evidence linked him to Heidi's death.  During the police interviews of Bennett in 2012, he mentioned another man, Grant Lewis, as someone he contacted for help while in Baltimore in 2000.  

While police interviewed Grant Lewis in 2012, he stated that Bennett told him when he was in Maryland "somebody got hurt".  Lewis stated that he believed the person was "hurt bad".  Stephen's name was a never mentioned during the interviews in 2012 by Bennett or Lewis with the Baltimore County Police.

In March of 2014 on the first day of Alexander Bennett's trial, he agreed to a plea deal with the State and at that point claimed that Stephen had hired him through Grant Lewis to murder Heidi.  Bennett confessed to murdering Heidi and stated that both Grant Lewis and Stephen were involved in a "murder for hire" plan.  In exchange for his confession, Bennett received a reduced sentence which could result in his release in about a decade.

The State always had their motive, however other than Bennett's confession implicating Stephen, emails were the only evidence the state claimed to have when Stephen was arrested and charged.  Emails never existed which then left the state with only a confession from the murderer to tie Stephen to Heidi's death.

Key evidence was ignored by the police during the days and hours after Heidi's death.  Their focus always remained on Stephen due to the insurance policy.

The facts show that Heidi was the one who initiated completing the paperwork on the insurance policy to ensure Stephen's policy was in effect.  Stephen and his family had a history of life insurance policies and it was not abnormal for their family to have a high benefit on a policy.

After Stephen was arrested and denied bail, a bail review hearing was requested by his attorney.  Due to the fact that there were no emails connecting Stephen to the crime the defense was going to ask for Stephen to be released until the trial started.  The judge stated that if all the State had was Alexander Bennett's words, then "you have nothing".  The lead prosecutor, Mr Glennon, informed Stephen's attorney that there "is, in fact, no tangible evidence of any such emails".

A formal letter was submitted by the defense attorney to reconsider the pre-trial release of Stephen.  Judge Tirabassi agreed to hear the defense's findings; however prior to the new bail hearing, the State's Attorney quickly got an indictment.

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