OPELIKA, Ala. (WRBL) – Inside the Lee County Justice Center, a jury has decided Rick Ennis is guilty of the capital murder, kidnapping, and burglary in the slaying of a 24-year-old Lori Ann Slesinski nearly 16 years ago in Auburn.
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty in the case
Prosecutors say Ennis was romantically obsessed with Slesinski and killed her when she refused to be more than friends.
Forensic investigators testified the defendant’s semen and presumptive blood were inside Slesinski’s mobile home. Investigators located a phone – missing its long chord – in her bedroom, and a rolled cigarette with Ennis’ DNA near Slesinski’s burned vehicle.
Ennis was the last person known to be with Slesinski when she alive, and when questioned after Lori vanished detectives took pictures of fresh scratches on his arms and hands. Prosecutors said located in his car – a murder’s tool kit – cleaning supplies, a knife, and handcuffs.
Ennis testified in his own defense, saying he was good friends with Lori and they had consensual sex. He maintains he did not kill her. He says the scratches came from his dog. His defense team claims investigators bungled evidence in the case and can not prove beyond a reasonable doubt 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 been growing together.
A body has never been located.
News 3 is in the courtroom and will keep you updated as the verdict has now been reached and the details on the sentencing phase are determined.