An Alabama man has been convicted of murdering a woman who went missing more than 15 years ago – and whose body has never been found.
Derrill Richard Ennis41, was sentenced of capital murder Thursday in the death of Lori Ann Slesinski24, who has not been seen since 2006.
A Lee County jury convicted Ennis after 10 days of trial, including a previous full day of deliberations.
Under Alabama law, murder committed during a burglary carries the death penalty; the same applies to a murder committed during a kidnapping. Ennis was convicted of both felonies, although he insisted in court that he had nothing to do with Slesinksi’s disappearance.
“Where did you dump Lori’s body?” Lee County District Attorney Jessica Ventiere asked Ennis.
“I didn’t dump Lori’s body anywhere,” Ennis replied.
“Then who did it?” asked Ventiere.
“I have no idea,” Ennis replied.
Ennis also had explanations for the fresh scratches he had on his arms and hands when police questioned him in the days that followed: He said they were from his dog.
Ennis’ defense attorneys also suggested that a cigarette containing Ennis’ DNA, found at the scene of Slesinksi’s burned-out car, had been planted.
according to a Slesinksi was last seen by friends and family on June 10, 2013 timing of the case by local ABC affiliate WTVM. Her mother, Arlene SlesinskiShe reported them missing on June 13.
During an investigation into Slesinski’s disappearance, a police officer reportedly discovered that the door to Slesinski’s mobile home appeared to be “splintered.” He also reportedly noticed scratch marks on the walls, rumpled beds, missing phone cords and kitchen rugs, and that the set temperature in the house was “freezing cold.”
The detective also reportedly found a gold earring with hair in it and a trash can lid in the trailer’s office and storage area.
Ennis appeared to have been considered a possible suspect almost immediately. The day after Slesinksi was reported missing, police searched Ennis’s car, which Slesinksi appeared to have sold to him the day before she disappeared. Investigators reportedly found tiki torches, Clorox cleaning spray, air freshener, a cloth, and a cleaning brush, among other items.
Days later, investigators compared a DNA sample Ennis provided to police with DNA from blood and semen found at Slesinksi’s home.
Meanwhile, on June 17, Slesinksi’s car was found burned to the ground. Her body was never found, and in court he insisted he had nothing to do with her disappearance.
After being questioned by the police, Ennis left Auburn. He was not arrested until over a decade later, after local and state law enforcement showed renewed interest in the case. Then, in August 2018, District Attorney for Lee County Brandon Hughes announced that Ennis had been charged with murder, he said that finding Ennis was “no easy task” and that it took law enforcement months to find him because “he didn’t want to be found”.
At trial, prosecutors argued that Ennis was obsessed with Slesinski. They said he killed her when she turned down his romantic advances. Corresponding AL.comEnnis testified that they had an amicable romantic relationship and that Slesinski disappeared after meeting a drug dealer.
Ventiere, who took over as prosecutor in 2021 after Hughes was convicted of ethics violationssaid that the fact that Slesinksi’s body was never found was no reason to acquit Ennis.
“I think we can all agree that there shouldn’t be a reward for someone who’s good at disposing of a corpse,” Ventiere said, according to a report in which Opelika Auburn News. “You shouldn’t be getting a prize for disposing of bodies. You should be held accountable for her murder, even though you were really good at disposing of it.”
Although prosecutors initially wanted to push for the death penalty, Ventiere told the judge Jacob Walker after announcing the verdict that Arlene, Lori Ann’s mother, didn’t want to pursue it.
Ennis now faces life in prison without parole.
[Image via screengrab/WTVM.]
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https://lawandcrime.com/crime/where-did-you-dump-loris-body-alabama-man-convicted-of-capital-murder-in-death-of-woman-who-went-missing-in-2006/ Derrill Richard Ennis found guilty in the murder of Lori Ann Slesinski