Here are a few of the criminal law stories that have recently occurred around the state of Alabama:

  • Auburn police recently announced the arrest of 38-year-old Derrill Richard “Rick” Ennis, a male suspect who has been charged in the previously-unsolved 2006 slaying of 25-year-old Lori Ann Slesinski, a young Auburn University graduate whose body has never been found. This past Monday in Montgomery County, Virginia, members of the Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force, Virginia State SWAT and Montgomery County Virginia SWAT teams arrested Ennis on outstanding grand jury indictments for capital murder during a burglary and capital murder during a kidnapping. Slesinski’s family had filed a missing persons report with the Auburn police in June of 2006 when she had not communicated with them or reported to work in several days. The victim’s 2005 Mazda Tribute was found on fire early the following morning, though later forensic evidence suggested that no one was in the car when the fire started. Ennis, an acquaintance of Slesinski, quickly left Auburn after being questioned by the police. Though they have yet to release information providing a motive for the slaying or the evidence linking Ennis to Slesinski’s death, Auburn police, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s Cold Case Unit and the Lee County District Attorney’s Office reportedly initiated a joint effort in to the case in April 2017 that helped them determine that Slesinski was murdered by Ennis. A Lee County Grand Jury indicted him on the two capital murder charges last Thursday, August 2nd. Ennis is in custody without bond in the Montgomery County Virginia Jail while he awaits extradition to Auburn.
  • Police have filed formal charges against Kenneth Wayne Watts, the Roebuck teen who allegedly carjacked a woman at gunpoint and led police on a high-speed chase through the cities of Homewood and Birmingham that eventually ended in three car crashes. The victim said the carjacking of her red Chevrolet Corvette happened around 2:55 p.m. on Oxmoor Road and St. Charles Street this past Thursday. After a lookout bulletin was issued, Homewood spotted the suspect and stolen vehicle and tried to stop him and the before the chase ensued. The suspect got on Interstate 65 North and hit the first car at the University Boulevard exit, got off at the Third Avenue North exit (where he hit a second car on 17th Street North) and then crashed into a third car on Carraway Boulevard. Watts then jumped out of the Corvette, ran into the woods and was captured by police. None of the crashes led to any of injuries. The 17-year-old Watt is charged with first-degree robbery, unlawful possession of marijuana, carrying a pistol without a permit and attempting to elude with the potential to face additional charges for the three wrecks in the Birmingham jurisdiction. His bond is set at $60,900, and according to Homewood police Sgt. John Carr, he will be charged as an adult.

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