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Prosecutor seeks death penalty in Pa. slayings

Teen allegedly shot girlfriend's parents

LANCASTER, Pa. -- A prosecutor said yesterday that he will seek the death penalty for an 18-year-old man accused of killing the parents of his 14-year-old girlfriend, and no criminal charges will be brought against the girl.

Lancaster County District Attorney Don Totaro said statements from the suspect, David Ludwig, have exonerated Kara Beth Borden, and convinced investigators that she had no role in the shootings of her parents last month.

''There was no plan or no agreement to harm her parents in any way," Totaro said.

Prosecutors allege that Ludwig killed Michael and Cathryn Borden on Nov. 13 after an argument over his relationship with their daughter. Kara Borden was with him when he was captured the next day in Indiana, after a high-speed chase that ended with him crashing his parents' car.

Totaro said the death penalty is justified, in part because there was more one victim and the couple's children were home at the time of the shootings.

New charges involving a firearms violation and sexual assault have been added against Ludwig, Totaro said.

Prosecutors dropped a kidnapping charge against Ludwig, who fled the state with Kara Borden before being captured in Indiana. He still is charged with reckless endangerment.

Ludwig said only that he had no questions yesterday morning as he signed a document waiving his preliminary hearing, forwarding the charges to county court. His lawyer, through a secretary, declined to comment.

Police said Ludwig dropped the girl off at her house about 5:30 a.m. on the day of the killings, after the teens had spent the night together.

When the girl called him to say her parents caught her coming in late, Ludwig returned to the house at her request, authorities said. Police said he carried two guns and a hunting knife with him.

Michael Borden told Ludwig that the young man could no longer see his daughter, Totaro said.

It was then, Ludwig allegedly told police, that he decided to kill the couple. He shot Michael Borden from behind as he was going to the front door, and then Cathryn Borden as she was getting out of a chair, according to the court papers. Both were shot in the head.

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