Court Coverage

Apr 22, 2014 10:48 AM

Man Charged In Landlord's Beating Death Pleads Guilty

The man charged in the beating death of an Anderson County woman has entered a guilty plea in the case.

47-year-old Terrence Allen Cram pleaded guilty to murder, tampering with physical evidence and fraudulent use of a credit card over a 6 month period, in court Tuesday morning.

Police say Cram beat 49-year-old Tena L. McNeely to death in January 2011 at their Anderson County home. McNeely was Cram's landlord at the time. Her family members say Cram lived in a room in McNeely's house for five years.

The coroner said McNeely died of blunt-force trauma to the head. She was the daughter of state Trooper James McNeely, who died in the line of duty during a flood rescue in Frankfort in 1972.

In a handwritten statement obtained by LEX 18, Cram says he only killed McNeely because she begged him to do so.

Cram claims in the four-page letter he found McNeely at the bottom of the stairs after a bad fall that day. Cram said he was going to call 911 when "she yelled no!"

"She said she couldn't move her left leg and the rest of her body was wracked in pain" he wrote. "Please, please kill me! I can't and won't live like this," she said, according to his statement.

In graphic details Cram described how he hit her repeatedly until she stopped moving. "I had to stop her pain" he wrote.

State Police say Cram used her credit cards in several different states after her death. He was arrested in Arizona in June 2011 after officers received a tip that he was living in Goodyear, Ariz., and after he filled out an employment application, where a background check revealed he was wanted for murder. He was extradited to Kentucky to stand trial.

Cram's sentencing date is scheduled for June 4.

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