Harmony teen arrested in killings of her parents

April 02, 1994|By Michael James | Michael James,Sun Staff Writer

A 16-year-old Caroline County girl who is charged with killing her parents as they lay in bed was arrested yesterday at a motel in Ocean City, where she and four other teen-agers went for a trip, state police said.

Lisa Mae Friedel is accused of shooting her mother, Laura Kujawa, 47, and stepfather, Larry Kujawa, 46, with a .357-caliber Magnum at the family's ranch home in the rural community of Harmony along the Choptank River, police said.

The killings occurred about 10 p.m. Tuesday after the Kujawas, who worked at the Dupont plant in Seaford, Del., had gone to bed to watch television, said Michael McKelvin, a state police spokesman. The couple routinely kept the handgun under their bed for protection.

"The parents and the girl had been arguing over the past couple of weeks over a variety of things," Mr. McKelvin said. Lisa Friedel "had apparently taken the gun out from under the bed and then used it later that night," he said.

She was arrested about 7 a.m. and charged as an adult with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of using a handgun in a felony and two counts of robbery, police said.

The robbery charge stems from Miss Friedel's alleged theft of her parents' 1992 Ford Bronco, which the youths used to drive to Ocean City, police said.

None of the four teen-agers on the trip knew about the killings, Mr. McKelvin said.

Another teen-ager, 16-year-old John Robert Phelps of Preston, was arrested yesterday at his home and charged as an adult with being an accessory after the fact because he allegedly hid the handgun used in the slayings, Mr. McKelvin said.

Police said that the Phelps youth filed the serial number off the gun, to make it harder for them to trace the weapon. The gun was found yesterday hidden in his family's house, police said.

Police do not know whether the Kujawas were asleep when they were shot. Their bodies were found Thursday after a relative called police, Mr. McKelvin said.

"The couple's workplace had called a family member and said it wasn't like them to have not shown up for work for a couple of days," Mr. McKelvin said.

The Kujawa home, in the 6300 block of Ganeys Wharf Road, is about a quarter-mile from the nearest house. Apparently no one heard the two shots that were fired, police said.

Police said Miss Friedel was being held without bond last night at Caroline County Detention Center.

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