Meth was apparently all in the family for Darin Ninneman, whose mom, Lorri, is said to have regularly shared the substance with him and his brothers. In the end, however, Darin brutally stabbed Lorri to death, then fled the scene reluctantly -- because he wanted to take his iPad with him. But he didn't get far, and now he's been sentenced to decades behind bars for the crime. Photos and details below.
Late on the afternoon of May 5, 2012, according to the 18th Judicial District DA's office, Darin visited his mom at her friend's home, reportedly located on the 5600 block of Windemere. The resident of the property is identified by the Littleton Independent as Lorri's boyfriend, Bobbie Ullery.
Darin had recently been kicked out of a rehabilitation program, the DA's office notes, and was homeless at the time. He also had a lengthy history of drug use and abuse. In a December 2012 hearing, the Independent quotes Ullery as admitting that he, Lorri and Darin were all meth users. He added that Lorri shared meth with each of them, as well as her two other sons.
Shortly after arriving, Darin and Lorri got into an argument over drugs, the DA's office maintains, adding that neighbors remembered hearing a "thudding noise" from the home, followed by Lorri's screams for help.
Ullery's account from the Independent is equally disturbing. In court, he said he "wasn't sure if Darin had been bugging his mother for some meth and she might have said no. At this point, Darin might have snapped."
Next thing Ullery knew, Lorri was on the floor and Darin was straddling her and hammering away at her chest "as if he was trying to get the blood out of her."
Ullery soon found the murder weapon: an eight-inch fishing knife.
Neighbors and friends raced to the scene, and as they ministered to Lorri, they yelled at Darin to split out of fear for their safety. The DA's office maintains that Darin "initially stated that he needed to get his iPad before leaving," but eventually departed without it.
Police and emergency personnel arrived a little after 6 p.m., but they were too late. Lorri was pronounced dead at Littleton Hospital and an autopsy subsequently determined that she'd suffered 29 stab wounds and 38 total sharp-force injuries.
About an hour later, Darin was found about a block from the murder scene, near the intersection of Windemere and Powers. His face and clothing were splattered with blood. An officer who testified at the aforementioned hearing said Darin didn't seem "under the influence of anything," the Independent reports, but he did make "several unsolicited comments, asking whether his mother was okay and if he could get his iPad."
The DA's office contradicts the officer's remarks, citing evidence that Darin was high on meth at the time of the slaying. He "sang for minutes" following his arrest, prosecutors relate, and upon being placed in a jail cell, he allegedly began "humming and stomping his foot loudly." They add that he interrupted a subsequent quiet stretch with shouts of "Stop!" while "rambling and rocking back and forth."
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Westword's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Denver's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Attorneys representing Darin explored the possibility of an insanity plea for their client, but in the end, that didn't fly. He pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in August, and now he's been sentenced to 32 years behind bars.
Here's a larger look at Darin's booking photo.
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.