Teen accused of killing parents had gun training

April 26, 1994|By William Thompson | William Thompson,Eastern Shore Bureau of The Sun

DENTON -- Lisa Mae Friedel, a Caroline County high school student accused of shooting her parents to death in late March, apparently was no stranger to firearms.

Police said yesterday that the .357-caliber Magnum handgun Ms. Friedel allegedly used was part of a gun collection owned by her stepfather Larry Kujawa, who had taught the 16-year-old how to shoot.

The bodies of Mr. Kujawa, 46, and Ms. Friedel's mother, Laura Mae Kujawa, 47, were discovered March 31 in the bedroom of the family's modest rancher outside Harmony in rural southwestern Caroline County.

During the teen-ager's preliminary court hearing here yesterday, Tfc. John Bollinger, Maryland State Police criminal investigator, said Mrs. Kujawa had been shot in the head and back and that Mr. Kujawa had been shot twice in the head.

Police said the victims were killed March 29 as they lay in bed watching television. The police arrested Ms. Friedel three days later at an Ocean City motel where she was staying with high school friends.

Also arrested was John Robert Phelps, a 16-year-old friend of Ms. Friedel's who was charged with accessory before the fact because he and the accused killer allegedly plotted the killing of the Kujawas as they rode on a school bus.

Police said after the Kujawas were killed, Ms. Friedel gave Mr. Phelps the murder weapon, which was recovered at the Phelps family's home.

Caroline County Assistant State's Attorney Robert Greenleaf said both Ms. Friedel, who was charged with two counts of first-degree murder and other criminal counts, and Mr. Phelps will be tried as adults.

Trooper Bollinger said yesterday that Ms. Friedel told police she was in her bedroom on March 29 when "something came over her" and, clutching the loaded .357-caliber Magnum, quietly walked down a hall into her parents' bedroom and shot them.

The trooper said Mr. Kujawa owned several pistols and shotguns and that police found "quite a bit" of ammunition when they searched the house.

He said Ms. Friedel told him that her stepfather had instructed her how to shoot some of the weapons and that he kept the .357 Magnum handgun in a case under his bed for protection.

Ms. Friedel told police she removed the handgun from its case and, according to Trooper Bollinger, took it to her bedroom. The trooper said the teen-ager admitted she thought about shooting her parents on March 28 -- 24 hours before they were killed -- and walked toward the couple's bedroom at least once with the weapon in her hand before she returned to her own room.

Court documents and published reports said Ms. Friedel, a junior at Colonel Richardson High School, claimed she and her mother often argued and that Mrs. Kujawa had struck her daughter several days before the shootings.

Yesterday, Ms. Friedel, who is being held in the Caroline County Detention Center on $500,000 bail, was led handcuffed into the county District Court building by sheriff's deputies.

Mr. Phelps waived his right to a preliminary hearing and was escorted out of the courtroom and across Denton to the Detention Center.

Except for a quiet exchange of words with her public defender lawyer, Maureen Essex, Ms. Friedel said nothing during the 15-minute preliminary hearing.

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