- Special Sections
- Public Notices
By BOB WHITE
ELIZABETHTOWN — The grandmother of a child left motherless after a fatal shooting two years ago pleaded guilty Tuesday to illegally possessing a handgun last year.
Martha Gradick was charged last year with unlawful possession of a weapon, endangering the welfare of a child, and possession of a small amount of marijuana and a controlled substance while retaining custody of her grandchild.
Gradick has had custody of the toddler since the girl’s mother, 18-year-old Alena Cunningham, was fatally shot May 6, 2007, in the parking lot of an Elmwood Drive apartment complex in Radcliff.
Shooter Andrew Lamont “Country” Edelen, a teen acquaintance of Cunningham, pleaded guilty to causing the death of Cunningham and her unborn child in exchange for a 15-year prison sentence on manslaughter and fetal homicide convictions.
Hardin Circuit Court Judge Kelly Mark Easton said defense and prosecuting attorneys met to discuss a proper settlement in the case – one in the best interests of the child – prior to Tuesday’s plea.
“But I want to make it clear there was no agreement made outside the courtroom,” Easton said.
The agreement allows Gradick to serve a probation on the conviction.
She said the items in question belonged to someone else.
“Sometimes where I live you need a gun, but I didn’t own one,” she said. “I knew I couldn’t buy a gun, but I didn’t know I couldn’t be around one.”
Gradick has a previous felony conviction, making her ineligible to own a firearm.
Formal sentencing in her case is scheduled for April.
Gradick plans a second May 6 candlelight vigil for her deceased daughter.
Speakers during last year’s vigil emphasized removal of guns and violence from the Radcliff area.
Bob White can be
reached at (270) 505-1750.