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Despite murder charge for husband's death, St. Cloud widow gets bail

KISSIMMEE - The widow's cell phone rang repeatedly before and after her husband's murder.

Each call came from Charles King -- sentenced this month to life in prison for firing a single bullet into the back of Bradley Raver's head as he slept at about 4 a.m. on Sept. 27, 2007, according to St. Cloud Police records.

Kathryn Raver, the widow, now faces the same murder charge as the man who killed her husband.

Arrested last week, little is known about the case against Raver, 35, who appeared Thursday in the Osceola County Courthouse. In a rare ruling, Circuit Judge Jon B. Morgan agreed to release the first-degree murder defendant on $250,000 bail pending trial.

The Orange-Osceola State Attorney's Office has not disclosed what prompted Raver's arrest more than 18 months after the killing. Assistant State Attorney Ken Lewis had asked the judge to set bail at $1 million.

Raver's lawyer Mark NeJame called the case circumstantial at best.

"The only new information might be from him [King], who was just convicted of first-degree murder and who made previous statements she had absolutely no involvement," NeJame said. "Why is she only now being arrested? That certainly raises some legitimate questions."

Attendance at the hearing was divided along family lines.

Kathryn Raver's relatives and fiance sat on one side. Bradley Raver's family and at least 10 St. Cloud police officers sat on the other side. Neither side spoke to the other. Their conversations ranged from how much money the widow had to hire NeJame to how soon a bail bondsman would arrive to release her from the Osceola County Jail.

Records in the case against King show the murder happened after he became infatuated with his boss's wife.

The couple ran Raver's Roofing, a successful St. Cloud business worth $300,000 where King, 52, worked as a foreman on a roofing crew. Co-workers and relatives of the couple described King as a close family friend who believed Kathryn Raver needed his protection from beatings by her husband.

King confided to several people that the mother of three children would leave her husband to be with him and that he would kill Bradley Raver, 43, if necessary.

In the days after the killing, conflicting accounts of extramarital affairs and domestic violence came out during interviews conducted by St. Cloud police.

Kathryn Raver denied her husband had beaten her and said she had not been involved romantically with King. She and her husband made love just hours before his death, she claimed.

Records show police did not believe her account, especially after she submitted to a lie-detector test, known as a Computer Voice Stress Analyzer, which is not admissible as evidence in court.

"The results of the examination revealed Kathryn did not respond truthfully to the relevant questions," which included "Do you know who shot Bradley?" the records stated.

On the night of the killing, Kathryn Raver later told police she awoke about 4 a.m., let out the family dog using an exterior door to the master bedroom where her husband slept in their Carolina Avenue home. After bring the dog back inside, she turned on the TV in another room where she heard what sounded like a firecracker and smelled what she thought might be gun smoke. She woke up her teenage daughter and told her to call 911.

If the case goes to trial, King's phone calls to Raver on the night of the killing figure to be an issue. Cell phone records obtained by St. Cloud police show King called her eight times and she called him once midnight and 4:27 a.m. while her husband lay sleeping and then died in the master bedroom.

Copyright © 2009, Orlando Sentinel

Source: Orlando Sentinel

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