Man faces punishment for teen's death

March 19, 2010 8:54:32 AM PDT
A family is beginning to have closure after a tragic shooting one year ago. It was supposed to be a fun night. Instead, a 17-year-old girl was shot and killed. It was an accident, but the young man who pulled the trigger is now being held responsible for what he did that night. Jurors took only about 30 minutes to determine Robert Odom, 21, was guilty of manslaughter in the killing of Allison Aubrecht, 17. But now they'll have to decide his punishment.

Odom didn't move or show much expression in court. But his face flushed and eyes swelled with tears when Lori Aubrecht took the stand, sobbing through words at her daughter's memory.

"I never saw her graduate, get married, have children," Lori said. "My baby is gone forever. I'm begging you for the maximum punishment."

Last March, 17-year-old Allison was at a house party at Odom's northwest Houston home, when Odom placed a gun to the back of the girl's head and pulled the trigger, killing the Memorial High School student. Witnesses say Odom didn't think the gun was loaded.

One year later, the courtroom was paralyzed at Lori Aubrecht's recollection of that day. Her daughter, an aspiring chef, had just been accepted to college.

"That's where we were when we got the call she was shot, going to see the dorm," she told jurors.

Also testifying. 19-year-old Brady King, who says he partied at Odom's home two weeks before Aubrecht's death. He says during the party, Odom brought a 12 gauge shotgun into the living room with 20 people nearby.

"He was waving it around at people," King testified. "I grabbed it from him and a shell ejected. Yes, it was a live 12 gauge shotgun."

In an unexpected move, the defendant himself took the stand to address jurors yesterday. In an emotional apology to Allison's parents, Odom broke down, saying he would do anything to bring back their daughter.

"I think about the family every day," he testified. "I think about how I can help them every day. Whatever happens to me, happens."

Odom also told jurors that Allison had come over to his house every day for a month to smoke marijuana and drink beer. He said showing the gun was a way to act tough and he never meant to kill the high school student.

"I pulled the gun out of my back pocket after I heard Allie say, 'Shoot me, shoot me,'" Odom testified. "I didn't look at the gun, which I should have. I genuinely thought it was unloaded."

Odom faces up to 20 years in prison.


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