Auburn graduate killer sentenced to life in prison as victim’s family calls for closure

OPELIKA, Alabama (WRBL) –The man who killed Auburn University graduate Lori Ann Slesinski in 2006 has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The sentencing comes as Lee County District Attorney Jessica Ventiere told Judge Slesinkski’s mother that the best option for her family is not to seek the death penalty and the lengthy appeal process that goes with it. associated.

Just before lunch Thursday, a Lee County jury found Rick Ennis guilty of capital murder, kidnapping and burglary in the murder of 24-year-old Lori Ann Slesinski nearly 16 years ago in Auburn.

Prosecutors were seeking the death penalty in the case but decided to seek life in prison without the possibility of parole after speaking with Lori Ann’s mother. The jury was removed from office after three weeks. It took them about eight hours over two days to return the guilty verdicts.

Prosecutors say Ennis was obsessed with Slesinski and killed her when she refused to be more than friends.

Forensic investigators testified that the accused’s semen and alleged blood were inside Slesinski’s mobile home. Investigators located a phone, missing his long deal, in his bedroom, and a rolled cigarette with Ennis’ DNA near Slesinski’s burned vehicle.

Ennis was the last person known to be with Slesinski while alive, and when questioned after Lori disappeared, detectives took photos of new scratches on her arms and hands. Prosecutors said they found a murderer’s toolkit with cleaning supplies, a knife and handcuffs in his car.

Ennis testified in his own defense, saying he was good friends with Lori and they had consensual sex. He maintains that he did not kill her. He says the scratches are from his dog. His defense team says investigators botched the evidence in the case and cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Ennis is the killer. Ennis says the last time he spoke with Lori, she was supposed to meet with a drug dealer to sell the marijuana the duo had grown together.

A body was never located.

The defense announced in court that it planned to appeal.

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