HEBER CITY, Utah (ABC4) — A Heber City man was sentenced to one to 15 years in prison on Wednesday for allegedly shooting and killing a 7-year-old girl through a wall. Christopher O’Connell, 35, was originally charged with the following:
- Manslaughter, a 2nd-degree felony
- Felony Discharge of a firearm
- Possession of a dangerous weapon by restricted
- Distribute/offer/ arrange distribution of controlled substances
- Sexual battery
- Possession of a controlled substance
- Carrying a dangerous weapon under the influence of alcohol/drugs
According to the latest hearing at Wasatch County 4th District Court, O’Connell was only charged with manslaughter while all other charges were dismissed. On Feb. 16, he was sentenced to 1-15 years in the Utah State Prison.
According to arrest documents, on July 10, the girl’s father received a call from a friend telling him his daughter was on the floor bleeding. The father rushed home and drove her to the hospital — she later died from her injuries. The girl was shot through the wall.
When officers arrived at the apartment complex, they encountered an “intoxicated,” “uncooperative,” and “non-compliant,” O’Connell. He was reportedly at a friend’s apt., who was living in the same complex as the victim, police records said.
Police records state they were able to locate a bullet hole that had gone through the wall in the bedroom of O’Connell’s friend and into the next apartment where it hit the young girl.
According to police records, O’Connell admitted he had consumed alcohol and taken four pills of Clonazepam. According to interviews with the two women who were in the apartment, O’Connell had sexually assaulted them at his other friend’s apartment nearby. The women also said they observed O’Connell pulling out a firearm and waving it around while he was intoxicated, and they asked him to put it away.
Police said they saw what appeared to be a firearm protruding from O’Connell’s T-shirt near his beltline, and when police searched him, the gun was discovered and seized.
O’Connell will receive credit for the time he has served in the Wasatch County Jail, which amounts to approximately two years.