Couple returned to Kentucky to face charges in social worker's death, baby's abduction

Thursday, October 26th 2006, 8:48 am
By: News On 6

HENDERSON, Ky. (AP) _ A man accused with his girlfriend of kidnapping her baby and killing a social worker admitted to the slaying as he walked into a Kentucky police station and apologized to his family and friends.

A throng of reporters had gathered Wednesday evening when police escorted the couple back to Kentucky from Illinois, where they had been arrested three days after the social worker's body was found in the woman's home.

When one reporter asked Christopher Wayne Luttrell, 23, if he had killed the social worker, Luttrell replied: ``Yes, ma'am.''

``I want to apologize to everybody,'' Luttrell said. ``I want to apologize to my mom and dad, too, and all the friends I had. I hope you all still love me.''

Luttrell, 23, and Renee Terrell, 33, were arrested on Oct. 19 in a trailer near Godfrey, Ill., about 30 miles north of St. Louis. Police from Henderson drove the two back from southern Illinois in separate vehicles to face charges in the beating death of social worker Boni Frederick, 67, and the abduction of Terrell's 10-month-old son, who Frederick had brought to Terrell's home for a visit with his mother.

The baby, Saige, was found unharmed and has been returned to foster parents, authorities said.

Federal prosecutors in Kentucky initially charged the couple with fleeing to avoid prosecution on kidnapping charges, but have dropped their charges so state authorities could prosecute them on felony murder, kidnapping, robbery and theft charges, said Henderson police Sgt. John Nevels.

Saige had been removed from Terrell's custody when he was 13 days old because of neglect, and the courts were in the process of permanently removing her parental rights when Frederick was killed, according to police.

The couple were found after Frederick's station wagon broke down and the couple called a friend in Evansville, Ind., who began working with police to locate them, Nevels said.

``All along we figured it was just a matter of time,'' Nevels said.

He said Luttrell ``talked all the way back,'' discussing everything from police who had arrested him in the past to rules of prisons where he had served time for burglaries and thefts.

Terrell and Luttrell were expected to be arraigned this week, with a preliminary hearing expected next week, Nevels said.