PLATTE CITY, Mo. - A 23-year-old northwest Missouri man pleaded guilty Thursday to hacking one woman to death with a hatchet and sexually assaulting another woman and then disemboweling her with a razor.
Quintin O’Dell entered the pleas to the separate cases in Platte County court. He was sentenced to two life sentences, two 100-year sentences and one seven-year sentence.
The guilty pleas and subsequent sentencing stem from the May 2011 murder of 22-year-old Alissa Shippert, who O’Dell had worked with at a Platte City convenience store, and a sexual assault in December of that same year that ended with the victim’s stomach being cut open with a razor.
O’Dell avoided a possible death sentence after admitting to his crimes. O’Dell had previously pleaded not guilty to all charges.
“As a result of this guilty plea, the defendant will spend the rest of his life in prison,” Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahand said in a statement announcing the pleas and sentencing. “ Make no mistake, I would have no hesitation in asking a jury to impose the death penalty in this case. However, the victims’ families wanted to end this case without enduring the additional pain of a death penalty trial and prolonged appeals. Given their completely understandable wishes, this is an appropriate resolution.”
Charges in both cases came in January 2012 after O’Dell was questioned in the razor attack.
After spending Christmas night drinking with O’Dell, the victim says she woke up the next day with her stomach slashed open.
The 21-year-old victim, who would spend several days unconscious and on a ventilator, was able to get to a neighbor’s house to call for help, authorities said. She had to hold on to her intestines to keep them from falling out, according to police.
Platte County charging documents state O’Dell told detectives he became “enraged” by a phone call the victim had with a former boyfriend.
The victim “will literally live the rest of her life scarred by his equally sadistic actions, which she miraculously survived,” Zahand said. “ The world will be a better place with Quintin O’Dell behind bars until he breathes his last breath.”
During questioning, according to the probable cause statement, O’Dell also detailed how he killed Shippert, who according to coworkers, was a friend of O’Dell’s.
O’Dell told investigators he came across a hatchet while walking along the Platte River, and then ran into Shippert, who was fishing alone.
The two talked for a couple of hours, O’Dell said, and the attack happened after he lost his footing and went underwater. Shippert began slapping him for frightening him after he came up from under the water downstream and walked back, so he put her in what he described as a bear hug.
When he released her, O’Dell said, both of them reached for the hatchet, which was on his belt. He grabbed the weapon and hit her in the head with it, he said.
According to the court documents, O’Dell said he wanted to end Shippert’s suffering, so he “repeatedly struck her in the face with the hatchet until she was no longer crying or breathing."
“Alissa Shippert was a vibrant young woman whose life was tragically cut short by this defendant’s horrible and inhuman acts,” Zahand said.
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