Death Penalty Sought in Killing of Girl's Parents
A prosecutor said Friday he will seek the death penalty against an 18-year-old accused of killing the parents of his 14-year-old girlfriend, and no criminal charges will be brought against the girl.
Lancaster County District Attorney Don Totaro said statements from the suspect, David Ludwig, have exonerated Kara Beth Borden, and convinced investigators that she had no role in planning or carrying out last month's shootings of her parents.
There was no plan or no agreement to harm her parents in any way, Totaro said.
Prosecutors allege Ludwig killed Michael and Cathryn Borden on November 13 after an argument over his relationship with their daughter. Kara Borden was with him when he was captured the next day in Indiana, after a high-speed chase that ended with him crashing his parents' car.
Totaro said reasons the death penalty is justified include that there was more than one victim, and that the couple's children were home at the time.
New charges involving a firearms violation and sexual assault have been added against Ludwig, Totaro said.
Prosecutors dropped a kidnapping charge against Ludwig, who fled the state with Borden before being captured in Indiana. He still is charged with reckless endangerment.
Ludwig said only that he had no questions Friday morning as he signed a document waiving his preliminary hearing, meaning the charges against him were forwarded to county court. His lawyer, through a secretary, declined to comment.
Police said Ludwig dropped off the girl at her house about 5:30 a.m. on the morning of the killings, after the teens had spent the night together.
When the girl called him to say her parents caught her coming in late, Ludwig returned to the house at her request, authorities said. Police said he carried two guns and a hunting knife with him.
Michael Borden told Ludwig during a 30- to 45-minute talk that he could no longer see his daughter, Totaro said.
All witness accounts from the scene suggest that the defendant became upset, for several minutes he stood there, sat there, really looking into space, Totaro said.
It was then, Ludwig allegedly told police, that he decided to kill the couple. He shot Michael Borden from behind as he was going to the front door, and then Cathryn Borden as she was getting out of a chair, according to the court papers. Both were shot in the head.
Ludwig then started to drive away before turning back to look for the girl, who came running after him and got in the car, authorities said.
He told detectives that the girl wanted to get as far away as possible, get married, and start a new life, according to court documents.
Totaro said the teens had discussed what they would do if the parents discovered their relationship. There was a plan if they were caught in the relationship, to possibly run away. That was the extent of the plan, Totaro said.
Ludwig's formal arraignment was scheduled for January 25.
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