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Kara Lorelle LOUNSBURY

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 
 
 
Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: History of anger towards her father and alleged that he verbally and sexually abused her as a child - To collect insurance money
Number of victims: 2
Date of murder: January 14, 2009
Date of arrest: February 26, 2009
Date of birth: August 15, 1977
Victim profile: Her father, Harold "Hap" Enander, 69, and step mother Velva Sue Enander, 61
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Hudson, Adams County, Colorado, USA
Status: Sentenced to two concurrent life sentences without parole on February 16, 2010
 
 

 
 

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Woman gets 2 life terms in murder of father, stepmother

By Mont Whaley - DenverPost.com

Febrruary 17, 2010

BRIGHTON — An Adams County district judge Tuesday sentenced a woman to two concurrent life sentences for murdering her father and stepmother, a killing prosecutors called "an execution."

Earlier Tuesday, jurors convicted 33-year-old Kara Lounsbury of two counts of first-degree murder for the January 2009 shooting deaths of her father, Harold "Hap" Enander, and his wife, Velva Sue Enander.

Jurors reached their verdict after about seven hours of deliberation. The jury needed less than an hour after returning from the Presidents Day weekend to find Lounsbury guilty of both counts.

District Judge John Byron sentenced Lounsbury after the verdicts were read, a common occurrence in a first-degree murder case, said Adams County district attorney's spokeswoman Krista Flannigan.

Prosecutors said Lounsbury was motivated by hatred of Velva Sue Enander and her wish to claim the proceeds from a life insurance policy.

"This was an incredibly violent and callous crime," said Adams County DA Don Quick. "There is never a good motive for murder, but to kill your own parents for money is exceptionally heinous."

The pair were found dead inside their home on East 144th Avenue south of Hudson on Jan. 15, 2009. Their pastor's wife found their bodies after they failed to show up for a church service.

The Enanders were in their bed when they were attacked by Lounsbury, prosecutors said. Lounsbury fatally shot her father in the back. She then shot her stepmother three times before bludgeoning her in the head, causing more than 20 lacerations to the skull, followed by a final shot, killing her.

Lounsbury ransacked the house to stage a home invasion and then accused her brother — Jared Enander — of the murders, prosecutors said.

According to 9News, testimony during the trial painted a picture of a fractured and estranged family.

Both Enander siblings alluded to being verbally abused by their father, who later became a well-respected small-businessman and church leader.

Hap Enander made efforts to reconcile and connect with his children, even putting both on his company's payroll for doing little or no work.

Enander founded AquaHot, a Fort Lupton company employing about 75 people to make heaters for high-end recreation vehicles.

According to 9News, Jim Colgan, Adams County chief deputy district attorney, told jurors that Velva Sue Enander's injuries illustrated Lounsbury's hatred.

"Why did she have to beat her?" Colgan asked jurors. "Because she didn't like her. She felt threatened by her. She was going to get some of her money."


Woman Found Guilty Of Killing Sleeping Parents

Kara Lounsbury Sentenced To 2 Life Sentences

TheDenverChannel.com

February 16, 2010

A woman, who claimed her father verbally and sexually abused her as a child, has been convicted of shooting her father and step-mother to death as they slept.

Kara Lounsbury, 32, was found guilty Tuesday of two counts of first-degree murder and immediately sentenced to two life sentences, according to the Adams/Broomfield District Attorney's Office.

Harold, 69, and Velva Sue Enander, 61, were found dead in their bed on Jan. 15, 2009. Prosecutors said Lounsbury fatally shot her father in the back while he was sleeping, then shot her step-mother three times before bludgeoning her in the head and firing a final shot. Lounsbury ransacked her parent's house to stage a home invasion then accused her brother of the murders, prosecutors said.

"This was an incredibly violent and callous crime. There is never a good motive for murder, but to kill your own parents for money is exceptionally heinous," said District Attorney Don Quick.

Lounsbury was arrested last February. Court documents said she had a history of anger towards her father and alleged that he verbally and sexually abused her as a child. Lounsbury's husband said she "went through phases of contact and estrangement" with her father and that "they were not a very close family," the arrest affidavit said.

Investigators found that Harold Enander's son, Jared, lived next to his father in rural Adams County and that Jared Enander had a video surveillance system with a view of Harold and Velva Enander's home.

Lounsbury told detectives that on Jan. 14, 2009, she had been drinking to celebrate good news and went to visit her brother because she had trouble sleeping and wanted to "see what Jared was doing."

"Lounsbury said she drove her black Chevy Tahoe and had four of her dogs with her, but no other person, over to Jared's house. Ms. Lounsbury said when she arrived at Jared's she knocked on the door for several minutes, but Jared did not answer," the affidavit said. She said she pulled out of the driveway facing the wrong way and drove around the house to head home.

The surveillance video appears to confirm the visit, showing a SUV with a brush guard and star shaped wheels pull into Jared Enander's driveway at about 3 a.m. While the video does not show who was driving the SUV, the figure appeared to be a woman, the affidavit said.

About nine minutes later, the SUV leaves Jared Enander's driveway and then pulls into the driveway of Harold and Velva's home. About an hour later, the SUV is seen driving down 144th Avenue with its lights off, the affidavit said.

Detectives searched Lounsbury's Chevrolet Tahoe and found it has "a brush guard attached to the front portion of the car and the wheels were a star shaped wheel," matching the description of the SUV in the video.

The coroner reported that the Enanders were killed with either a Glock 9 mm or a Sigma 9 mm because of the distinctive rectangular impact mark on shell casings. According to the affidavit, Lounsbury owned a Glock and kept it in her closet.

Jared Enander also told detectives that "just prior to Christmas 2008, he was talking to Ms. Lounsbury when she asked, why he had never killed their father," the affidavit said. Lounsbury denied ever making that comment.

Investigators collected evidence from the Enanders' bedroom that included a latex glove. Analysis found DNA on the glove belonging to Velva Enander and from another woman.


Jury convicts woman of murdering parents

9news.com

February 16, 1010

Lounsbury was convicted Tuesday on two counts of first-degree murder for killing her father, Harold "Hap" Enander and his wife, Velva "Sue" Enander.

An hour later, District Court Judge John Bryan sentenced Lounsbury to two life sentences without parole, which were ordered to be served concurrently.

Juda Filippi, Sue Enander's daughter and Lounsbury's step-sister, spoke in court before the sentencing.

"My mom was a caring and giving woman to everyone she met, including Kara Lounsbury," Filippi said. "My mom tried to bring peace, compassion and understanding to Kara."

Lounsbury appeared to gasp as the verdict was read.

The courtroom was filled with friends of the Enanders and employees from Aqua Hot, the Fort Lupton company founded by Hap Enander.

Doreen Martin, who attended every day of the trial, said her former boss had "a heart of gold."

"It was the greatest job I've ever had," Martin said. "He just always thought of us. We were number one with him."

Throughout the trial, prosecutors and the defense team disagreed on which of Enander's adult children shot and killed the Enanders in their sleep, an act prosecutors referred to as "an execution."

Lounsbury's defense centered in on an effort to pin the January 2009 killings at the Enander house near Hudson on Lounsbury's brother, Jared Enander.

Lounsbury's defense team declined comment after the verdict.

"Rather than present this case defending one person and prosecuting another, we just followed the evidence," Adams County Deputy District Attorney Jess Redman said.

The prosecutors said they addressed the alternative suspect defense head-on, because it was natural for jurors to wonder if Jared Enander could have been the killer.

"In all honesty, we discussed the fact that they [jurors] were going to think Jared may have had something to do with it, so we had to point to the facts and not rumor or innuendo," Adams County Chief Deputy District Attorney Jim Colgan said.

Jared Enander lives next door to his parents' home in rural Adams County near Hudson where the couple was found dead on Jan. 14, 2009.

Prosecutors suggested during the trial that Lounsbury was desperate for financial help from her father and feared he had cut her out of his will.

Testimony from family members and friends painted a picture of a fractured and estranged Enander family.

Both Enander siblings alluded to verbal abuse during childhood from their father, who later became a well-respected small businessman and church leader.

Hap Enander made efforts to reconcile and connect with his children, going so far as to put both of them on his company's payroll for doing little or no work.

Enander's company employed about 75 people to make water heaters for high-end recreational vehicles.

A number of Enander's employees and fellow church parishioners attended each day of testimony.

In his closing statement, Colgan told jurors that Lounsbury and Jared Enander "both manipulated and used their father" but the evidence only points to Lounsbury as the killer.

"There's no evidence he did anything," Colgan said. The reason the defense team is pointing to Jared Enander, Colgan said, is because, "if you look at Jared, guess what, you don't look at what she did."

Colgan said Sue Enander's horrific injuries illustrated Lousnbury's hatred for her stepmother.

"She could have just shot her," Colgan said. "Her head was crushed in 20 times."

"Why did she have to beat her?" Colgan asked jurors. "Because she didn't like her. She felt threatened by her. She was going to get some of her money.

"She hated her," Colgan said.

A key piece of evidence at trial was a home surveillance tape provided to investigators by Jared Enander.

Prosecutors said it shows Lounsbury pulling into her brother's driveway and then driving next door to their father's house in the early morning hours when investigators believe the couple was killed.

Lounsbury testified she tried to visit her brother but denied going next door and killing the Enanders.

Defense attorney Chad Oxman told jurors that investigators and prosecutors were quick to blame Lounsbury and ignore evidence that Jared Enander was the killer.

Lounsbury's trial was "written, produced and directed" by her brother, Oxman said.

"She didn't do it," Oxman said. "This is a setup."

None of the blood that covered the crime scene was found inside Lounsbury's vehicle, Oxman said.

"It defies science," Oxman told the jury.

Lounsbury's DNA was among the potential matches for a sample found inside a latex glove at the crime scene. Both the prosecution and defense said the Enander house had been trashed to make it look like a robbery.

Lounsbury testified she believes the glove was left there by her brother.

"This glove was planted," Oxman told jurors. "The evidence that Jared put there speaks for itself."

"She says he did it because he did it," Oxman said.

Oxman stressed to jurors that they didn't need to "pick" between Lounsbury and Jared Enander as the killer but simply decide that prosecutors hadn't proved Lounsbury committed murder.


Jurors break without verdict in double murder trial

9news.com

February 12, 1010

They will resume deliberations on Tuesday morning after President's Day, but at 5 p.m., the foreman told the judge: we cannot reach a decision at this time and one more hour is not going to make a difference.

During the two-week-long trial, Kara Lounsbury and the person Lounsbury says is her father and stepmother's true killer, her brother, both testified.

The courtroom was packed for closing statements Friday morning, with an overflow crowd standing and sitting on the floor.

Jurors are considering two counts of first-degree murder against Lounsbury for the deaths of her father, Harold "Hap" Enander and his wife, Velva "Sue" Enander.

Prosecutors and the defense team disagree on which of Enander's adult children shot and killed the Enanders in their sleep, an act prosecutors referred to as "an execution."

Lounsbury's defense included an effort to pin the killings on her brother, Jared Enander.

"The earliest known defense mechanism of all siblings: deflection. I didn't do it. My brother did it." Adams County Deputy District Attorney Jess Redman told jurors.

Jared Enander lives next door to his parents' home in rural Adams County near Hudson where the couple was found dead on Jan. 14, 2009.

Prosecutors suggested Lounsbury was desperate for financial help from her father and feared he had cut her out of his will.

Testimony from family members and friends painted a picture of a fractured and estranged Enander family.

Both Enander siblings alluded to verbal abuse during childhood from their father, who later became a well-respected small businessman and church leader.

Hap Enander made efforts to reconcile and connect with his children, going so far as to put both of them on his company's payroll for doing little or no work.

Enander founded AquaHot, a Fort Lupton company employing about 75 people to make water heaters for high-end recreational vehicles.

A number of Enander's employees and fellow church parishoners attended each day of testimony.

In his closing statement, Adams County Chief Deputy District Attorney Jim Colgan told jurors that Lounsbury and Jared Enander "both manipulated and used their father" but the evidence only points to Lounsbury as the killer.

"There's no evidence he did anything," Colgan said. The reason the defense team is pointing to Jared Enander, Colgan said, is because, "if you look at Jared, guess what, you don't look at what she did."

Colgan said Sue Enander's horrific injuries illustrated Lousnbury's hatred for her stepmother.

"She could have just shot her," Colgan said. "Her head was crushed in 20 times."

"Why did she have to beat her?" Colgan asked jurors. "Because she didn't like her. She felt threatened by her. She was going to get some of her money."

"She hated her," Colgan said.

A key piece of evidence at trial was a home surveillance tape provided to investigators by Jared Enander.

Prosecutors said it shows Lounsbury pulling into her brother's driveway and then driving next door to their father's house in the early morning hours when investigators believe the couple was killed.

Lounsbury testified she tried to visit her brother but denied going next door and killing the Enanders.

Defense attorney Chad Oxman told jurors that investigators and prosecutors were quick to blame Lounsbury and ignore evidence that Jared Enander was the killer.

Lounsbury's trial was "written, produced and directed" by her brother, Oxman said.

"She didn't do it," Oxman said. "This is a setup."

None of the blood that covered the crime scene was found inside Lounsbury's vehicle, Oxman said.

"It defies science," Oxman told the jury.

Lounsbury's DNA was among the potential matches for a sample found inside a latex glove at the crime scene. Both the prosecution and defense said the Enander house had been trashed to make it look like a robbery.

Lounsbury testified she believes the glove was left there by her brother.

"This glove was planted," Oxman told jurors. "The evidence that Jared put there speaks for itself."

"She says he did it because he did it," Oxman said.

Oxman stressed to jurors that they didn't need to "pick" between Lounsbury or Jared Enander as the killer but simply decide that prosecutors hadn't proved Lounsbury committed murder.


Double murder trial begins for woman accused in parents' killings

9news.com

February 2, 1010

Testimony began Tuesday in the trial of Lounsbury, who is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of her father and stepmother on Jan. 14, 2009.

Hap and Velva "Sue" Enander were found shot to death in their home in rural Adams County near Hudson.

Prosecutors and the defense team disagree on which of Hap Enander's two adult children killed him and his wife.

Jurors were warned to expect graphic testimony and evidence related to the crime scene.

The first prosecution witness, Lynda Higgins, a close friend of the Enanders, described discovering the crime scene.

"I felt hate. I felt anger," Higgins said.

Following Higgins' testimony, a video of the crime scene was played.

As a sheriff's deputy camera panned over Sue Enander's body crumpled on her bedroom floor, Higgins, seated in the courtroom, gasped and covered her face.

Lounsbury, seated the base of the projector screen where the video was being played, averted her eyes.

Adams County Chief Deputy District Attorney Jim Colgan told jurors in his opening statement that Lounsbury needed tens of thousands of dollars for back surgery. Colgan said a series of circumstantial evidence points to Lounsbury as the killer.

Defense attorney Chad Oxman used a portion of his opening statement to suggest that some of that evidence was provided by Hap Enander's son, Jared, in an effort to frame his sister.

"Everything pointed to Jared Enander and now the DA... points to Miss Lounsbury," Oxman said. "The prime suspect now becomes the lead detective."

Jared Enander provided investigators with video surveillance of his parents' house from his neighboring property.

He suggested the person seen coming and going on the surveillance tape on the night of the killings is his sister.

Prosecutors also say the video is of Kara Lounsbury.

During his testimony, Jared Enander said his sister asked him point blank why he never killed their father in retaliation for their troubled childhoods.

He also testified about his parents' will and said his sister watned to get into the house to see the will and see what she was getting in it.

Jared Enander's testimony is set to continue on Wednesday.


Arrest affidavit details estrangement, alleged abuse

Lounsbury suspected of first-degree murder in shooting deaths of Enanders

Ftluftonpress.com

March 10, 2009

BRIGHTON – Kara Lorelle Lounsbury appeared in Adams County Court Monday morning to be advised of charges against her, that she murdered her father, Harold “Hap” Enander, and stepmother, Velva “Sue” Enander, in the early morning hours of Jan. 14.

Her long, unkempt red hair tucked into her light blue disposable prison jumpsuit, Lounsbury wiped her eyes and nose with a tissue as she stood in front of Judge Mark W. Warner. Her voice broke as she softly answered, “Yes, I understand,” when he advised her of the severity of the charges – two counts of murder in the first degree, and “No, Your Honor” when Warner asked if she had any questions. Lounsbury, 31, who lives on a small acreage near Denver International Airport, about 21 miles from the Enanders’ rural Adams County home, was arrested at her house Friday night.

The Adams County Sheriff’s arrest warrant outlines details of the case, beginning with the initial call to a dispatcher at 9:38 a.m. Jan. 15. Friend Lynda Higgins told investigators she arrived at the house at 42729 E. 144th Ave. to check on the Enanders, whom she hadn’t heard from since Jan. 13. Higgins said she entered the home and found Sue Enander, 61, face down on the floor of the main-level bedroom beside the bed, covered in blood and apparently dead. Deputies later found the body of Hap Enander, 69, face down on the floor on the opposite side of the bed. Two doors of the house were unlocked, but investigators found no unexplainable prints in the snow. The inside of the house, especially the home office, was in disarray with many items broken and strewn about.

Autopsies revealed that Harold Enander died from a gunshot wound to the right side. Sue Enander had been shot several times and beaten on the right side of her head so severely that her skull had been broken, according to a report from the Adams County Coroner’s Office.

Harold Enander’s son, Jared, who lives next to his father’s house, told detectives that there were small footprints in the snow, tire tracks and that his gate was not properly closed when he left the house about 10 a.m. Jan. 14. When he returned home that afternoon, he said, he watched home surveillance footage from the night before. The system, which has night vision capabilities, captured footage of a dark, mid-sized SUV pulling up to Jared’s house about 3 a.m. Jan. 14.

Moments later, he said, the SUV turned into the driveway of his father’s house, about 150 feet to the east. He said police, evaluating the footage, noted striking similarities to Lounsbury’s vehicle including vehicle model, brush guard and custom wheels that matched hers.

When questioned, the affidavite said, Lounsbury waivered between saying that she was – then was not – at the scene, then acknowledged that she had gone to Jared’s house in the early morning hours of Jan 14.

Friends and relatives of the Enanders recall a happy couple, with Harold known for his warm disposition and generosity. The couple was married about three years. He owned Aqua Hot Heating Systems of Fort Lupton, and a former Trapper Day’s honored business in the annual parade.

But the arrest affidavit in the case paints a different story, much of it taken from interviews with Kara Lounsbury and Jared Enander. The document references alleged abuse at the hands of Harold Enander. At one point, Kara Lounsbury is quoted as asking her brother “why he had never killed” Harold Enander, saying she could not understand how Jared Enander could be friends and “patch things up” with Harold Enander after the pair’s childhood.

Jared is quoted as saying that during their childhood both he and Lounsbury suffered verbal abuse from Harold Enander, with Lounsbury alleging sexual abuse as well. When questioned later, Lounsbury denied making the comment about killing her father.

In a separate interview with Lounsbury, she said that her contact and relationships with Harold and Jared Enander were “very sporadic,” and that she spent little time with either. She said she and Jared Enander had been estranged for years and had only recently been making more of an effort to rebuild their relationship. When questioned about Harold Enander’s and Jared Enander’s relationship, Lounsbury said that the pair often argued about business, but failed to offer any details.

A subsequent interview with Lounsbury’s and Jared Enander’s biological mother, Geraldine Pett, revealed that when she and Harold Enander divorced in 1985, the pair retained joint legal but split physical custody of Lounsbury and her brother. Jared Enander lived with Harold Enander and Lounsbury lived with Pett until she was 11. At that point, the warrant said, Lounsbury moved back in with Harold Enander until 1993 or 1994 when she attempted to commit suicide due to a breakup with her boyfriend and issues with her father.

During this period, she was seeing a therapist, who told Pett that Lounsbury was alleging sexual abuse at the hands of her father. Pett took Lounsbury to the hospital for an evaluation. An examining physician found no evidence of sexual abuse.

In an interview with Pett’s husband, David, he recounted giving Lounsbury a Glock 9 mm pistol in 2005. Lounsbury reported the gun stolen in a conversation with him on the day of the murders.

Interviews with Lounsbury’s husband, Stuart Lounsbury, also support the assertion that the relationship between the three was rocky and often estranged. He said that he worked at Harold Enander’s business, Aqua Hot, for roughly a decade, and he also said Jared Enander worked on a contract basis for Aqua Hot and frequently became angry with Harold Enander over business matters. Despite the tempestuous relationships, both Lounsbury and Jared Enander drew salaries from Aqua Hot, purportedly upwards of $3,000 a month each.

In the affidavit, Jared Enander told investigators less than a month before the couple was found dead, Kara Lounsbury asked Jared to let her know when Harold and Sue Enander were going to be out of town so she could enter their home and search for Harold Enander’s will.

Kara Lounsbury allegedly expressed concern to Jared Enander that “she thought she wasn’t getting anything.”

Harold Enander’s attorney told investigators that the majority of his wealth was designated for First Baptist Church in Hudson where he and Sue were members.

Lounsbury is due to appear in court again March 5 and will be represented by a public defender.


Daughter charged in Adams double slaying

By Anthony Bowe - The Denver Post

February 27, 2009

The daughter of a prominent Fort Lupton business owner has been arrested and charged in the slayings of her father and step-mother in January.

Adams County officials announced tonight that Kara Lorelle Lounsbury, 31, of Watkins is being charged on two counts of first degree murder for the killings of her father, Harold "Hap" Enander, 69, and step mother Velva Sue Enander, 61.

The bodies of the Enanders were found by a neighbor on Jan. 15 in their home near Hudson in the 42700 block of East 144th Avenue in rural Adams County.

The neighbor, Linda Higgins, reported seeing them lying on a bloodied floor after she hadn't heard from Sue Enander.

Adams County Coroner James Hibbard said the cause of death was blunt trauma, including gunshots.

In a joint press release, the Adams County Sheriff's Office and the Adams County District Attorney's Office said Lounsbury is being held without bond at the Adams County Detention Facility. She will be advised of the charges against her Monday morning at the county courthouse.

In January, Police said they did not think the two deaths were the result of a murder-suicide.

Harold Enander is most recognized as the founding owner of Aqua-Hot Heating Systems in Fort Lupton, which retrofits heating systems in higher-end recreations vehicles. Enander had also retrofitted a $1 million recreational vehicle for Microsoft founder Bill Gates. Aqua-Hot Heating Systems employs about 65 people.

 

 

 
 
 
 
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