South Shore man accused of second-degree murder set to begin Nov. 29
Lawyers last week failed to settle a case involving Thomas O’ Connor, a South Shore man accused of the second-degree murder of 16-year-old Brad Parent.
The trial is expected to begin Nov. 29 in El Dorado County Superior Court.
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 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 .38 caliber revolver about a foot from his chest. Parent and three teen-age girls went to O’ Connor’s apartment to hang out where the group toyed with the gun, handcuffs and baton O’ Connor used as a guard.
After playing “psych-out” games, things got more serious when O’Connor reportedly loaded a bullet into the gun. Police reported that O’ Connor pointed it at Parent a foot from his chest and pulled the trigger five times, the fifth time he allegedly shot Parent in the chest.
O’Connor said he believed he could squeeze the trigger five times without firing the bullet, police said. El Dorado County Assistant District Attorney Hans Uthe said if O’ Connor is convicted of second degree murder and the weapon enhancement charge filed against him he could be sentenced to 35 years to life in prison.
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.
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.
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