A 47-year-old man accused of killing two people in Black Forest, including his wife, appeared at the El Paso County courthouse Monday for a preliminary hearing.
Kenneth Lankford allegedly told sheriff's detectives that he fatally shot his wife as a mercy killing after a gun accidentally went off and badly injured her, then lashed out and intentionally shot a Black Forest woman to death, also shooting the woman's husband in the face.
The shootings occurred last November.
"He said he didn't mean to shoot his wife, and he didn't mean to hurt the man, but that the woman's death was definitely a murder," said Sheriff's Sgt. Greg White, recalling part of the seven-hour interview he had with Lankford the day after the killings.
Lankford is accused of fatally shooting Carol Fowler, 51, and wounding her husband Thomas, 52, at their home at 11725 Timberlane Court, and killing his own wife, Terry Lankford, 51, at a home at 6685 Burrows Road on Nov. 9.
According to White's statement, Lankford had been read his Miranda rights and agreed to speak with sheriff's deputies after he was taken into custody after an overnight manhunt for him in Black Forest.
Lankford told detectives that he and his wife had gotten into an argument when a man and a woman had knocked at their front door on Burrows Road, White said.
During the argument, Terry Lankford had reached for her husband's gun and it had accidentally fired, seriously wounding her.
"[Lankford] said Terry was making the most 'God-awful gurgling sound,' and he felt horrible, so he held the gun with both hands and shot her to put her out of her misery," White said.
According to White's account, Lankford then went to the Timberlane Court cul-de-sac where he allegedly shot Thomas Fowler once in the face and Carol Fowler in the chest, collarbone and back of the head.
Lankford is scheduled to be arraigned June 12, court records show.