OPELIKA, Ala. (WRBL) – An Alabama family says the man convicted of the capital murder of 2006 Auburn University graduate Lori Ann Slesinski also killed her mother and stepfather in 1993 in a north of Montgomery.
Donna Furr, Angela Flowers and Tina Sexton are the daughters of Eddie Flowers. The sisters waited to speak publicly about what Derrill Richard Ennis had done as a 12-year-old until a verdict and sentencing was reached in the Slesinski case. Now the girls are urging Alabama lawmakers to reconsider how juvenile murder cases are handled. They released the following statement to WRBL News 3:
“We would like to begin by sending our condolences to Lori Ann’s mother, family and friends. We pray for you daily and hope that today’s verdict brings you some form of peace and closure. We would like to thank members of the Auburn Police Department, Lee County Sheriff’s Department, State Bureau of Investigation and its Cold Case Unit, US Marshalls and all other agencies involved for the countless hours of work you have put into this case. Without your hard work, Derrill Richard “Rick” Ennis would still walk the streets living his life as if nothing had happened with the potential to take other lives. In March 1993, our lives were changed forever by Rick Ennis. He brutally murdered our father, Eddie Flowers, and our stepmother (his mother), Dolly Flowers. Ennis was 12 at the time of their murders and was placed in the juvenile justice system. According to Alabama law, you must be at least 14 years old to be tried as an adult. As a result of this law, Ennis was released from the juvenile system at the age of 21, serving only less than 9 years behind bars. During his youth, Ennis escaped twice and no further charges were brought against him. Many people believe that children do not commit crimes like murder, but we know that is not true. The violence that is happening in this state and across this country has no age limit. Courts should not be bound by a state law that says children under 14 cannot be tried as adults. This case is living proof of that. If Ennis had received the punishment he deserved when he murdered 2 people at age 12, Lori Ann would not have lost her life at the hands of this evil person. The State of Alabama must change its laws! We missed our dad for 29 long years. He wasn’t there for graduations, weddings, newborn grandchildren and great-grandchildren and the joy of watching them grow, loving and spoiling them, fishing trips, vacations, reunions. family, and the list could go on. So today, when Rick Ennis was found guilty of burglary and capital murder kidnapping charges and sentenced to life without parole, our family could breathe a sigh of relief and know that justice has finally been returned! »
Donna Furr, Angela Flowers and Tina Sexton
Eddie Flowers Girls
News 3 is unable to obtain information on the deaths of Ennis’ mother and stepfather as the juvenile records are sealed. Lee County District Attorney Jessica Ventiere declined to comment on Ennis’ criminal history, saying she did not believe she was permitted by law. News 3 found newspaper articles written about the case in 1993. Ennis’ defense team told News 3 they had no knowledge of the deaths.
Ennis was sentenced Thursday in a Lee County courtroom to spend the rest of his life behind bars without the possibility of parole for the capitol murder in the kidnapping and robbery of Lori Ann Slesinski . The sentencing comes as District Attorney Ventiere informed Judge Slesinkski’s mother that the best option for her family was not to seek the death penalty and the lengthy appeal process associated with it.
On Thursday, a Lee County jury found Derrill “Rick” Ennis guilty of murdering the 24-year-old Auburn graduate, who worked at East Alabama Mental Health. By law, jurors are not allowed to know of a defendant’s prior alleged crimes or convictions.
Prosecutors say Ennis was obsessed with Slesinski and killed her when she refused to be more than friends. Investigators say Ennis has always been a suspect, but a charge in the case only took place in 2018 after a cold case unit spent 18 months looking into the 2006 murder. of Slesinski was never found.
Forensic investigators testified that the accused’s semen and alleged blood were inside Slesinski’s mobile home. Investigators located a phone, missing his long chord, in his bedroom. A rolled cigarette with Ennis’ DNA was found near Slesinski’s burned vehicle. Ennis was the last known person to be with Slesinski during his lifetime. When Ennis was questioned after Lori Ann disappeared, detectives took pictures of new scratches on his arms and hands. Prosecutors said his car had “a murderer’s toolkit” with 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 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.
“We know Rick and we know he is innocent and has our full support,” a note told reporters from supporters who gathered in the courtroom during the trial, verdict and sentencing.
Ennis plans to appeal.
Meanwhile, Arlene Slesinski says she waited 16 years for the man she knew to kill her daughter to be held responsible for ending her life aged just 24.
On Thursday, her mom says Lori Ann, along with her brother who died of cancer and her father who died of COVID, are celebrating justice in heaven with Lori’s beloved dog, Peanut.
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