Updated: November 12, 2013 at 10:39 am
An El Paso County man accused of killing two people, including his wife, and wounding a third person Saturday in Black Forest was wanted at the time of the slayings for failure to comply with court orders in connection with a dangerous animal case, according to court records.
Kenneth Foy Lankford, 46, is in the El Paso County jail without bond on suspicion of two counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted second-degree murder and one count of first-degree assault, court records show.
He is accused of fatally shooting Carol Fowler, 51, and wounding her husband, Thomas, 52, at their home at 11725 Timberlane Court, and then killing his wife, Terry, 51, at a home at 6685 Burrows Road, authorities said. The shootings happened within about two hours on Saturday morning.
The extent of Thomas Fowler's injuries have not been released.
Kenneth Lankford's trouble with animals began in March when he and his wife were investigated by the El Paso County Sheriff's Office and Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region after a neighbor was bitten by one of their American Bulldogs, Humane Society communications specialist Gretchen Pressley said Monday.
Kenneth Lankford placed an ad on doggiedealer.com to sell eight American Bulldog puppies that had been born March 9. A few days later, on March 12, charges of cruelty to animals and unlawful ownership of a dangerous dog resulting in bodily injury were filed against the couple, resulting in the euthanization of four of their dogs, Pressley said.
About three months later, the Lankfords' home at 6650 Shoup Road was destroyed by the Black Forest fire. The Burrows Road home where Terry Lankford's body was discovered has different owners and the sheriff's office has not said if the Lankfords were renting the property.
Kenneth Lankford's canine problems continued when a follow-up investigation by the Humane Society revealed he and his wife were keeping a pitbull mix and a pointer, which a court order from the March case prohibited.
"Once again, a neighbor filed a complaint in September that the pitbull mix and the pointer had attacked and killed his chickens and one of his turkeys, and we had to remove the animals from their care," Pressley said. "The pitbull was found to be too aggressive and was consequently euthanized. The pointer was younger and through behavior rehabilitation, he was able to be put up for adoption."
Terry Lankford faced cruelty to animals charges, filed Oct. 18 in El Paso County, and unlawful ownership of a dangerous dog resulting in the death of an animal, for which she was due in court Thursday, court records show. Kenneth Lankford did not comply with the Humane Society's instructions or the court's orders and a warrant for his arrest was issued by the sheriff's office, which was canceled after he was taken into custody Sunday.
Pressley did not reveal the identity of the neighbor, or neighbors, who had filed the complaints against the Lankfords in March and September, citing privacy laws.
The animal problems involving Terry Lankford did not mesh with accounts from a neighbor who lived across the street from her on Shoup Road. Terry Lankford bought the one-story rancher in June 2010, according to assessor's records.
Jill Freeman, who has lived at the house across the street for 58 years, said Terry Lankford was a sweet and friendly woman, who had become reserved and quiet after marrying Kenneth Lankford.
"She was such an animal lover, always rescuing cats and dogs, taking care of them," Freeman said.
One night about six months ago, Freeman said, Terry Lankford asked her to take care of one of her dogs, scared that her husband would hurt it. It wasn't a bulldog, Freeman said, but she wasn't sure of the breed.
"She made the statement, 'I thought marriage was supposed to enhance my life, and it didn't. I shouldn't have gotten married,' And then she just closed up after that," Freeman said. "She was just a super, super kind lady, and I felt like he may be a bit overbearing."
Kenneth Lankford has a criminal record in Texas and Utah and has been convicted of burglary, assault, forgery and drug possession, according to court documents.
He will be advised in a hearing Wednesday at the El Paso County courthouse, court records show.