A Platte City man is sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole Thursday. The 23-year-old pleaded guilty to a May murder and a December assault in 2011. Quintin P. O’Dell avoided a possible death sentence after admitting he murdered Alissa Shippert on the banks of the Platte River and viciously assaulted another woman seven months later in Ferrelview. Shippert’s body was found on the shoreline of the Platte River on June 1, 2011. The announcement from Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd was released just before noon today and can be read below.
Official press statement from Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd’s Office:
A Platte City man was sentenced life in prison without the possibility of parole on January 24 after pleading guilty to a May 2011 murder and a December 2011 assault. Quintin P. O’Dell, 23, avoided a possible death sentence after admitting he murdered Alissa Shippert on the banks of the Platte River and viciously assaulted another woman seven months later in Ferrelview.
Platte County Prosecuting Attorney Eric Zahnd said, “As a result of this guilty plea, the defendant will spend the rest of his life in prison. 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.”
During the plea hearing, O’Dell admitted that he murdered on May 31, 2011. Shippert’s body was found on the shoreline of the Platte River on June 1, 2011.
O’Dell struck Shippert in the back of the head with a hatchet. Shippert collapsed to the ground crying, and O’Dell got on his knees beside her and repeatedly struck her in the face with the hatchet until she was no longer crying or breathing.
O’Dell told authorities Shippert looked like someone had shoved a log splitter in her head. O’Dell then pulled Shippert’s body into the river.
O’Dell also admitted he assaulted a 21-year-old woman in Ferrelview after visiting her home on Christmas 2011. O’Dell assaulted the woman by cutting open her abdomen. He told authorities her intestines fell out of her abdomen onto the living room floor of her apartment.
O’Dell sexually assaulted the woman, as well. His DNA was found on the button and zipper of the jeans she was wearing the night of the attack.
Judge Abe Shafer sentenced O’Dell to life in prison without the possibility of probation or parole for Shippert’s murder and life in prison for the assault on the other victim. He also sentenced O’Dell to 100 years each on two counts of armed criminal action and the maximum penalty of seven years in prison for deviate sexual assault.
Zahnd said, “Alissa Shippert was a vibrant young woman whose life was tragically cut short by this defendant’s horrible and inhuman acts. Another young woman will literally live the rest of her life scarred by his equally sadistic actions, which she miraculously survived. The world will be a better place with Quintin O’Dell behind bars until he breathes his last breath.”
The case was investigated by the Platte County Sheriff’s Department, which was assisted by the Platte City Police Department, the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department, the Missouri Department of Conservation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Missouri, the Heart of America Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory, and the Missouri Western University Police Academy. The prosecution team included Zahnd, First Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Mark Gibson, and Assistant Prosecuting Attorneys Justin Kalwei, Myles Perry, and Chris Seufert.