Testimony given in O’Connor trial | TahoeDailyTribune.com
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Testimony given in O’Connor trial

Witnesses testified on Tuesday that Thomas O’Connor loaded a bullet into a gun and then tried to show his friend Brad Parent how to pull the trigger repeatedly without firing the gun.

O’Connor pointed the gun at Parent, standing about 2 feet from him, and dry snapped the weapon four times, counting off each shot. The fifth pull of the trigger fired a bullet straight into Parent’s heart and lung, killing him instantly.

“He was talking about if you put a bullet in the last chamber you can pull the trigger a certain amount of times before the gun really fires,” said Jessica Kelleher, 17. “Nobody really started freaking out until he pulled the fourth time.”



Kelleher and two other girls, including Catrina Adams, 18, were in O’Connor’s D Street apartment when Parent, 16, was shot in February 2000. Kelleher and Adams both testified they warned O’Connor to stop what he was doing.

“I told him put the gun down so no one gets hurt,” Adams said.



Testimony also revealed that Parent and O’Connor were both playing a game of quick draw with the gun before O’Connor loaded the weapon. Parent was shot with a .38-caliber revolver issued by the security company where he worked.

Prosecutors are alleging that he committed second-degree murder. Because a gun was involved, he faces 40 years to life in prison if convicted.

The trial began Friday in El Dorado County Superior Court. Deputy District Attorney Michael Atwell said O’Connor murdered Parent through an intentional series of acts. Lori London, O’Connor’s lawyer, described Parent’s death as accidental.

The prosecution is expected to finish presenting evidence today, which includes a videotaped interview with O’Connor that the police conducted.


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