Black Forest Man Pleads Not Guilty In Fatal Shootings

Kenneth Lankford, 46. (Credit: EPSO)

A man accused of going on a shooting rampage in Black Forest that left his wife and a second woman dead says he is not guilty of those crimes.

Kenneth Lankford, 46, pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder charges Thursday.

In November 2013, authorities were called to a home on Timber Lane Court in Black Forest, where they found the body of 51-year-old Carol Fowler. Fowler's husband, 52-year-old Thomas Fowler, was badly wounded.

A short time later, a second shooting scene was discovered five miles away on Burrows Road. Law enforcement later identified the body as 51-year-old Terry Lankford. Her spouse was nowhere to be found, and immediately became a person of interest in the case.

Helicopters, K-9 units and law enforcement on the ground searched the area for hours, and finally located Kenneth Lankford the following morning.

At a preliminary hearing in May, Lankford was deemed competent enough to stand trial.

A detective who interviewed Lankford in the hospital after his arrest testified at that hearing that Lankford admitted to shooting his wife, but said it was a mercy killing. Lankford reportedly told the detective his wife started talking about suicide, and while they tussled over a gun it accidentally went off and severely injured her.

The accounts of why Lankford allegedly said he shot the Fowlers varies, according to detectives. Detectives testified at the May hearing that he didn't show remorse over allegedly shooting the Fowlers, but cried when talking about his wife.

Lankford's next court date is in October.