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Teen charged in parent killings ‘confused’

An 18-year-old who’s charged with killing his girlfriend’s parents is frightened and confused, his attorney said Wednesday.
/ Source: The Associated Press

An 18-year-old who’s charged with killing his girlfriend’s parents before fleeing with the 14-year-old girl is frightened and confused, his attorney said Wednesday.

David Ludwig is being held without bail on murder and kidnapping charges after being flown back to Lancaster County on Tuesday from Indiana, where police captured him following a chase.

His attorney, public defender Merrill M. Spahn, said he will ask for a postponement of a scheduled Nov. 23 preliminary hearing.

“Over the coming days we will strive to determine what, in fact, occurred last Sunday morning and what may have led to these tragic events,” he said.

Police allege Ludwig shot Michael and Cathryn Borden at their home in Lititz, north of Lancaster, following an argument over his relationship with their daughter Kara. The two had been dating, apparently secretly, friends and witnesses said.

Spahn described Ludwig as “physically sound but understandably scared, anxious and confused,” and added: “At this time the concerns and thoughts of the Ludwig family are with the Borden family, their own family, and everyone who has been touched by this tragedy.”

Kara Borden was flown back to Pennsylvania from Indiana on Tuesday in a separate plane. Police say they’re treating her as a crime victim, but that the investigation is continuing. She has been reunited with her family.

Ludwig’s parents, Gregory and Jane Ludwig, issued a statement Wednesday expressing their sorrow for the “events which challenge everything about us.”

Prayer service
About 100 people attended a prayer service Wednesday night at the Bordens’ church, near Lancaster. More than a dozen stood and offered prayers for the both families, the teens’ friends, and authorities working on the case.

“We know tonight where Mike and Cathy are,” said Monterey Chapel elder David Sheaffer. “They’re with the Lord in heaven and we rejoice in that.”

After the service, church member Ernie Schwarz said Michael Borden had taught Sunday school and was well-liked by young people. Schwarz said he believed that the tragedy is “going to strengthen a lot of people’s commitment to the Lord.”

Cristen L. Frederick, who worked with Ludwig at an electronics store in Lancaster, said Wednesday she knew the two teenagers were secretly dating and that Ludwig was keeping their relationship quiet because of their age difference.

“He was a really good guy,” said Frederick, a college student. “He was friendly and joked around. I considered him to be a good Christian — he brought his Bible and read it during breaks.”