Jury finds suspect guilty in 2006 murder of Lori Slesinski

Published: Apr. 14, 2022 at 12:13 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 14, 2022 at 1:09 PM EDT
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OPELIKA, Ala. (WTVM) - On day 10 of trial, an Auburn murder suspect has been found guilty on two capital murder charges.

Derrill Richard Ennis was arrested in 2018 for the murder of 24-year-old Lori Slesinski back in 2006.

[WATCH: Full press conference on the 2018 arrest of Derrill Richard Ennis.]

Slesinski’s body has never been found, but her car was found burned on Dekalb street.


On April 14, Ennis was found guilty for first degree capital murder burglary and first degree capital murder kidnapping.

Ennis is sentenced to life in prison without parole.

The disappearance of Lori Ann Slesinski
The disappearance of Lori Ann Slesinski(Source: WTVM)

Below is a timeline on the disappearance of Lori Slesinski:

  • June 9, 2006: Derrill Richard Ennis runs out of gas, calls a friend to bring a gas tank to fill up his car and wants to take empty gas can but friend says no.
  • June 10, 2006: Last time Lori was seen by friends and family.
  • June 13, 2006: Arlene Slesinski (Lori’s mom) reports Lori as missing.
  • June 13, 2006: Auburn Police Officer Lee Hodge says the door looked ‘splintered’ on Slesinski’s mobile home the day she was reported missing. Ennis brought in for questioning after Slesinski’s disappearance.
  • June 14, 2006: Auburn Police Officer Randy Armstrong searches Ennis’ 1993 Dodge Intrepid - sold to him by Slesinski a day before she went missing.
    • Items found in Ennis’ vehicle: two tiki torches, Clorox cleaning spray, flair bottles, shoe polish, two bottles of air fresheners, Febreze, growing formula, bathroom cleaner, PH test, a cloth and a cleaning brush.
  • June 15, 2006: Auburn Detective Charles Buckner takes swab of blood from inside Slesinski’s mobile home.
  • June 17, 2006: Lori’s 2005 Mazda Tribute burned to the frame off of Dekalb Street in Auburn.
    • Officers also found gas tank in woods
  • June 17, 2006: Officer Hodge says he found a hand-rolled cigarette, partially burned, in the area.
    • DNA from blood on Slesinski’s door matched DNA sample Ennis gave to police, also matched semen found on Slesinski’s bedsheets.
  • August 6, 2018: Derrill Richard Ennis is arrested on two counts of capital murder in Pilot, Virginia.
  • April 1, 2022: Opening statements begin in the murder trial of Lori Slesinski.
  • April 4, 2022: Friends and co-workers of Slesinski took the stand following opening statements.
    • Friends testified saying the last time they heard from Lori, they could hear Ennis in the background.
    • Friends say Lori was supposed to be with them that weekend but she never showed.
    • Friends say they received a phone call from Lori at 7 p.m. on June 10 - however, the phone rang once before ending. Her friend tried to call back, but her phone went straight to voicemail.
    • Her friend and former coworker went to Slesinski’s house and noticed the answering machine had zero messages.
  • April 5, 2022: Former Auburn police officers testified on the evidence they found in Slesinski’s home.
    • In court, a bent wire hanger was shown.
    • Hodge noticed scuff marks on walls, bedding shuffled, phone cords missing, kitchen rugs missing, temperature set inside was freezing.
    • Trashcan lid located inside trailer in the office/storage area.
    • Gold hoop earring with hair on it.
  • April 6, 2022: Former Auburn detective Charles Buckner takes witness stand.
    • Buckner said he took a swab of blood from Lori’s home and a Budweiser beer bottle was taken in as evidence found at the end of DeKalb Street - where Lori’s burned car was found.
    • Buckner also confirms a knife was found in Ennis’s vehicle in the middle console, and a pair of pants from the back seat.
    • Auburn police cold case detective Chris Murray says on June 17, he went back to Slesnski’s mobile home and retrieved a stretched out coat hanger found on the bottom left side of her bed.
  • April 7, 2022: Former co-workers and roommates of Ennis take the witness stand stating mouth dropping information.
    • Former co-worker Jeremy Brooks said on Friday, June 9, 2006, he received a call on his home phone from Ennis and asks if he can bring him gas and keep the gas tank, Brooks tells Ennis no. Ennis starts car and drives off.
    • Officers later found a gas can near Slesinski’s burned car - and Brooks recalls one of the gas cans was missing.
    • Ennis’ former roommate in Huntsville, Abam Sissons, said that Ennis stated when he lived in Auburn, he was in love with a woman who disappeared. Sissons says Ennis had rugs of Lori’s and said she gifted them to him. After Googling Ennis, Sissons kicked him out and Ennis allegedly tore Sissons’ apartment to pieces.
    • Terry Booth, a former coworker of Ennis in South Carolina, had the most chilling details on the stand this day. Booth asked Ennis why he moved from Auburn. Ennis had told him he got in some trouble and said he needed to get out of town.
    • Ennis told Booth that he was talking to a girl, and she only wanted to be friends, so he moved away from her.
      • “He said he had to take care of some business and strangle a bleep,” said Booth.
      • “Not necessarily the exact location, but did he say an area of where this happened?”
      • “No, he just made a remark to indicate the location,” answered Booth.
      • “And what was that remark?”
      • “That she was a white piece of trailer park trash.”
  • April 11, 2022: Derrill Richard Ennis takes the stand.
    • Ennis stated on June 10, 2006, he locked his keys inside his car and used a coat hanger, brought in last week as evidence, to open the car.
    • On June 13, 2006, Ennis had scratches on his arms, which he told law enforcement were from his dog, Gracie.
    • 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 left a love note he had written Lori in her home. Ennis said Lori was unhappy with the letter he wrote her, stating they were only good friends.
    • Ennis was asked about a scrub brush that was found in his vehicle, Ennis claimed his female dog would go into heat once a month, and he used the brush to clean up after the dog. The State countered by stating dogs typically only go into heat twice a year.
    • Ennis also denied that he told his former coworker about Lori and denied saying anything about strangling her.
  • April 12-13, 2022: Closing arguments end and jury deliberations begin in the murder trial of Lori Slesinski.
  • April 14, 2022: Derrill Richard Ennis found guilty on two counts of capital murder for the death of 24-year-old Lori Slesinski.

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