Derrill Ennis takes stand after being arrested for the murder of Lori Slesinski back in 2006

Published: Apr. 11, 2022 at 4:28 PM EDT
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Lee County. (WTVM) - Today, the man accused of murdering a young woman in Auburn took the stand in his defense.

Derrill Richard Ennis told the jury where he was days before Lori Slesinski was reported missing.

Authorities never recovered Slensinki’s body following her disappearance on June 13, 2006.

Ennis was arrested 12 years later for her murder.

He told the jury he met Slesinski through a co-worker when he worked at the local restaurant Niffers.

Ennis said the two would hang out, and on June 10, 2006, he told the jury he locked his keys inside his car and used a coat hanger, brought in last week as evidence, to open the car.

“I asked Lori for a coat hanger, and she brought out a metal coat hanger, and I made a hook, and I was able to pull the latch to my door to unlock the car,” explained Ennis.

He said he left Slesinski’s and denied seeing her the rest of the weekend after driving back and forth to Montgomery to sell marijuana to a friend.

That following Tuesday, Slesinski was reported missing.

Six days after Ennis was questioned, he told investigators she was going to Walmart the previous Saturday.

When he was brought in for questioning on Tuesday, June 13, 2006, he had scratches on his arms, which he told law enforcement were from his dog, Gracie.

“You didn’t think it was important to tell law enforcement the very first day she was missing what she was wearing and where she was going?” Ventire asked.

“They didn’t ask me,” replied Ennis.

“If you were looking for a missing person, don’t you think it’s important to tell them what she was wearing?” she continued.

“I told them she was going to the grocery store, but I just couldn’t remember.” said Ennis.

Ennis led law enforcement on a wild goose chase to look for money he allegedly got that previous weekend from the drug deal. After more than an hour, authorities found nothing.

In court today, he said he never sold the marijuana and lied about burying money he got from the deal.

Ventire said he was wasting law enforcement time when they could have been looking for Slesinski.

Ennis told the jury he and the victim had sexual relations the first time two months before she went missing and again a week before her disappearance.

Ennis said Lori was moving soon, and she had asked him to return the key to her house.

He said she was not home, but he left it in her house next to a love note he had written her. He said she was unhappy with the letter he wrote her, stating they were only good friends.

Ventire asked Ennis about the scrub brush found in his car.

He claimed his female dog would go into heat once a month, and he used the brush to clean up after the dog. Ventire countered by stating dogs typically only go into heat twice a year.

The three rugs missing from Selsinski’s home were found in Ennis’s old apartment, but he told the jury he bought them from Target.

Last week, other witnesses told the jury they recognized those rugs from Slesinski’s mobile home.

“The blood in Lori’s trailer has your DNA in it. How did that get there?”

“I have no idea.”

When asked about the growing solution found in his vehicle, Ennis said their lease ended June 15, and he had grabbed random items to throw in a box.

He also said he did not work at the bowling alley in June 2006.

Ennis denied telling his former co-worker Terry Booth that he strangled someone. He also denied trashing his former roommate Abam Sissons’ apartment.

Lee County District Attorney ended her last few questions about Slesinski’s body.

“Where did you dump Lori’s body?” Ventire said.

“I did not dump Lori’s body anywhere,” Ennis replied.

“Who did then?” the DA persisted.

To which Ennis said, “I have no idea.”

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