(COLUMBIA, Ky., February 28th, 2003, 10:30 a.m.) -- Authorities have charged a 28-year-old woman and a man in the decade-old killings of three of her family members in Adair County.
Margaret Anne Wellnitz Appleton, of Lexington, has been charged with complicity to murder in the deaths of her mother, Elizabeth Wellnitz, 40, veterinarian Joseph Wellnitz, 50, and her brother, Dennis Wellnitz, 20, Kentucky State Police said.
Appleton and William Harry Meece, 30, who is accused of being the triggerman, were arrested Thursday night in Lexington. Meece is also charged with burglary and robbery.
Appleton was lodged in the Adair County jail, while Meece was being held in the Fayette County jail.
Kentucky State Police Sgt. Dennis Benningfield did not elaborate on what evidence led to the arrests.
All three victims were found shot several times in their home near Columbia on Feb. 26, 1993. Margaret was a student at the University of Kentucky at the time.
State police said that Margaret was a suspect because she was an heir to the family holdings and an insurance policy worth more than $500,000.
After a legal battle with an insurance company, the daughter and the veterinarian's adopted son, Eric Wellnitz, agreed to divide the money from the insurance policy.
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)