Life without parole in O'Donnell trial

June 5, 2008 4:23:53 PM PDT
A Montgomery County man was sentenced this evening to life in prison in the slaying of his girlfriend's teenage daughter. Forty-eight-year-old Mark O'Donnell was convicted earlier Thursday of first-degree murder and sexual assault. Assistant District Attorney Kevin Steele had sought the death penalty.

Authorities say O'Donnell spent the hours before the December murder smoking crack with the mother of 14-year-old Ebony Dorsey.

The honor student was baby-sitting his 4-year-old child. Prosecutors say he then viewed pornography and sexually assaulted Dorsey.

Defense attorney Thomas Egan argued at the judge-only trial that O'Donnell was too intoxicated to form the intent required for first-degree murder. But, Judge William J. Furber sided with prosecutors after weighing five days of evidence and more than 100 exhibits.

The girl's mother, 34-year-old Danielle Cattie, pleaded guilty in May to drug and child endangerment charges. She is scheduled to be sentenced in October.


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