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Officers describe bloody scene in triple Hoffman Estates slaying

The Engelhardt family. Those stabbed death 2009 were father Alan (top left) daughter Laur(center) grandmother Marlene Gacek (not pictured). Mother

The Engelhardt family. Those stabbed to death in 2009 were father Alan (top left), daughter Laura (center) and grandmother Marlene Gacek (not pictured). Mother Shelly is at top right, and Amanda and and Jeff are in front. | Courtesy ABC7

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Updated: July 20, 2011 2:15AM

The first police officer to enter the Hoffman Estates home where three people were fatally stabbed in 2009 described finding a nightmarish scene that included blood-covered floors and bodies clustered together.

In the midst of the carnage, Sgt. Michael Brady said he saw a distraught Marie Engelhardt trying to comfort her dying, 18-year-old granddaughter, Laura Engelhardt.

“She was holding Laura’s hand. She was consoling her,” Brady testified Tuesday.

He and other Hoffman Estates officers provided graphic testimony during a hearing for triple-murder suspect D’Andre Howard, who is seeking to prevent statements he allegedly made to police from being used as evidence.

The violence erupted early on April 17, 2009, after Howard quarreled with his fiancee, 23-year-old Amanda Engelhardt, in her parents’ home, then tied up and later stabbed her relatives, authorities contend.

Howard, now 23, is accused of killing Amanda’s younger sister, Laura Engelhardt, a senior at Conant High School; her father, Alan Engelhardt, 57; and her grandmother, Marlene Gacek, 73. He’s also charged with attacking her mother, Shelly Engelhardt, who was badly injured but survived her stab wounds.

Amanda Engelhardt and the 8-month-old daughter she had with Howard were unharmed, as was Marie Engelhardt, 85.

Howard was lying injured in the den when police arrived at the home, but admitted he stabbed Laura Engelhardt, Brady testified.

“I took the knife away from her, I stabbed her,” Brady said, recounting what Howard purportedly told him.

Howard allegedly brandished a butcher knife during the quarrel, then tied up several of the women, authorities have said.

He was stabbed by Laura after he untied her, but took away the knife and allegedly stabbed her and other family members, authorities said.

Laura Engelhardt regained consciousness long enough to identify Howard — whom she called by his nickname, “Dre” — as her attacker, Brady and Officer Michael Turman testified.

“I asked who stabbed her. She told me ‘Dre,’ Brady said. “I asked who stabbed everybody else. She said ‘Dre.’ ”

Howard later gave a videotaped statement to police implicating himself in the slayings, authorities said.

Howard is attempting to bar his statements as evidence, saying he wasn’t read his rights and that police continued to question him after he asked for a lawyer.

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