Radcliff grandma pleads guilty to gun charge

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Plea made in interest of child left motherless by shooting

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.