Mo. man pleads not guilty in hatchet killing

PLATTE CITY, Mo. (AP) - A northwest Missouri man charged with killing a co-worker with a hatchet and disemboweling another woman with a razor was arraigned Monday on first-degree murder and other charges.

Quintin P. O'Dell, 22, an Eagle Scout from Platte City, is accused of killing Alissa Faye Shippert, who was found last spring hacked to death in the Platte Falls Conservation Area, and of slashing open a Ferrelview woman's stomach Dec. 26.

Platte County Circuit Court Judge Thomas C. Fincham entered not guilty pleas Monday on behalf of O'Dell, who appeared without an attorney and requested a public defender. Prosecutor Eric Zahnd has said he will consider seeking the death penalty.

Authorities have not said when O'Dell became a suspect in the slaying of Shippert, 22, who worked with him at a convenience store in Platte City. But the charges followed his questioning last week by detectives with the Platte County Sheriff's Department in the razor attack of another woman with whom he drank on Christmas night.

In that case, the 21-year-old woman awoke the next morning in her Ferrelview apartment with her stomach slashed open. She held onto her intestines and ran to a neighbor for help, officials said.

According to a probable cause statement, O'Dell told detectives he became "enraged" after listening to the woman argue on the phone with her recent boyfriend. The statement says O'Dell showed detectives the motion he used to cut open the victim. She is recovering after spending several days unconscious and on a ventilator.

During the same interviews, according to the documents, O'Dell also disclosed details of the May 31 attack on Shippert, whose body was found the next day by a fisherman.

O'Dell told police he was walking along the Platte River that day and found the hatchet on the bank. Eventually, he said, he came upon Shippert and talked with her for a couple hours while she fished. He told detectives the attack happened after he lost his footing in the river while trying to help her free a snagged line. He said he resurfaced downstream and walked back.

Detectives say he told them Shippert thought he had drowned and began slapping him for frightening her. He said he grabbed her in a bear hug to control her but that she began slapping him again when he released her, the probable cause statement says.

"O'Dell claims that both he and Shippert reached for his hatchet on his canteen belt," the probable cause statement says. "O'Dell pulled the hatchet away from Shippert and remembered striking her in the back of the head with the hatchet blade side while she was standing up."

According to the court documents, O'Dell said he decided to end Shippert's suffering and "repeatedly struck her in the face with the hatchet until she was no longer crying or breathing."

O'Dell said he returned to his mother's home, where he was living, by floating down the river, according to the documents.

Shippert and O'Dell had worked together at a Casey's General Store in Platte City and were friends, said Ron Stone, the manager of the convenience store.

"We are trying to soak it in," he said. "It is just horrible. He was kind of strange but we just thought it was Quintin."

O'Dell is being held in Platte County Jail on a $750,000 cash-only bond.

Jill Brockman, a spokeswoman for Zahnd, said Shippert's relatives and the woman attacked with a razor do not want to talk to the media.

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