O’Connor back in superior court for shooting | TahoeDailyTribune.com

O’Connor back in superior court for shooting

Thomas O’ Connor, a South Shore man accused of murdering 16-year-old Brad Parent, is expected in El Dorado County Superior Court today to determine whether his case will be settled or go to trial.

Parent died Feb. 9 at Barton Memorial Hospital from a gunshot wound to the chest. Judge Suzanne Kingsbury pushed back the trial in August because the defense requested more time to seek additional information in the case.

Prosecutors allege that O’Connor, an off-duty security guard at High Sierra Patrol, shot and killed Parent after he pointed a gun at his chest at close range.

Parent and three teen-age girls went to O’ Connor’s apartment and the group began toying with the gun, handcuffs and baton O’Connor used in his job as a guard.

After playing “psych-out” games, things got more serious when O’Connor reportedly loaded a bullet into the .38-caliber revolver. O’ Connor pointed the gun at Parent a foot from his chest and pulled the trigger five times. On the fifth pull, the gun went off shooting Parent, police reported.

O’Connor believed he could squeeze the trigger five times without firing the bullet, police said.

In an unrelated case, O’Connor is charged with having unlawful sexual intercourse with a teen-ager. Police reported that O’Connor had intercourse with a 17-year-old in a South Lake Tahoe motel room Jan. 27.

Assistant District Attorney Hans Uthe said a person convicted of having sex with a minor could be sentenced to three years in prison, but in O’Connor’s case, if he is convicted of second-degree murder, the maximum sentence he could receive for the unlawful sex charge is eight months in prison. Uthe said O’ Connor is expected to be arraigned on the sex charge next week.

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