Jury finds Stephen Odom guilty - KiiiTV.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

Jury finds Stephen Odom guilty

Posted: Updated:
BEAUMONT -

A jury Thursday found Stephen Odom guilty of intentionally and knowingly causing bodily injury to a child, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. The 32-year old is accused of the Jan. 2012 death of 3-year old Ja'Kyra Henderson.

Odom was the boyfriend of the child's mother, Keneste Lennette. Odom was unemployed at the time of her death and took care of Ja'Kyra during the day.

Beaumont police responded to Calder Woods retirement center on January 15, 2012 where Ja'Kyra was found dead. Lennette worked at Calder Woods and was planning to take her daughter to the emergency room after work.

According to Lennette, the little girl had been sick since November 2011, but had been diagnosed with a stomach virus two weeks prior to her death.

However, an autopsy of the toddler revealed her cause of death was homicide from complications of blunt force trauma to the abdomen.

Ja'Kyra's seven-year-old brother, Jacob Whitehead, played a key witness in the trial. Jacob said his sister would sometimes have accidents since she was potty training and on two different occasions while his mom was at work, he saw Odom punch Ja'Kyra in the stomach. Jacob said he never told anyone because Odom got angry with him when he found out Jacob told his grandmother about getting a whipping for not knowing how to tie his shoes.

During closing arguments, defense attorneys accused Ja'Kyra's grandmother of creating a "lie" that Odom abused Ja'Kyra and convinced Jacob to say he saw Odom punch his sister. They said it was known that she did not like odom to begin with.

The prosecution argued that if the defense believed the grandmother was behind it, they could have called her to stand, but they never did.

Sentencing will begin Friday at 10 a.m. in Judge Steven's court.

  • Mostafa Remembered

    Mostafa Remembered

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:51 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:51:27 GMT
    The beloved owner of the Tim's Market on Ayers and Brownlee, 59-year-old Ben Mostafa, was remembered at a memorial service Wednesday evening. Mostafa was shot and killed in his store during a robbery back on April 14th.More >>
    The beloved owner of the Tim's Market on Ayers and Brownlee, 59-year-old Ben Mostafa, was remembered at a memorial service Wednesday evening. Mostafa was shot and killed in his store during a robbery back on April 14th.More >>
  • Services Held for Well-Known Businessman Benjamin Mustafa

    Services Held for Well-Known Businessman Benjamin Mustafa

    Family, friends and community members came together Wednesday evening to remember 59-year old Benjamin Mustafa, the victim of this city's latest homicide.A memorial was held for the beloved and well-known businessman, who was fatally shot last week at the Tim's Market on Ayers Street. Services took place at the Bay Area Fellowship on Rodd Field Road.Kiii News Reporter Bill Churchwell went Live from the memorial services with more information.To many, he was simply known as Ben, or Benjamin, a...More >>
    Family, friends and community members came together Wednesday evening to remember 59-year old Benjamin Mustafa, the victim of this city's latest homicide.A memorial was held for the beloved and well-known businessman, who was fatally shot last week at the Tim's Market on Ayers Street. Services took place at the Bay Area Fellowship on Rodd Field Road.Kiii News Reporter Bill Churchwell went Live from the memorial services with more information.To many, he was simply known as Ben, or Benjamin, a...More >>
  • Students Bound for Rome to Witness Canonization Ceremony

    Students Bound for Rome to Witness Canonization Ceremony

    Some lucky Coastal Bend residents, including students and teachers from John Paul II High School, are on their way to Rome to witness history.Pope John Paul II will be canonized on Sunday, and our own citizen reports from John Paul II High School will be there to watch. About 70 members of the community boarded buses Wednesday morning heading for Houston, where they will catch a plane to Rome.Pope John Paul II and Pope John the 23rd will be proclaimed saints at the ceremony at the Vatican Sun...More >>
    Some lucky Coastal Bend residents, including students and teachers from John Paul II High School, are on their way to Rome to witness history.Pope John Paul II will be canonized on Sunday, and our own citizen reports from John Paul II High School will be there to watch. About 70 members of the community boarded buses Wednesday morning heading for Houston, where they will catch a plane to Rome.Pope John Paul II and Pope John the 23rd will be proclaimed saints at the ceremony at the Vatican Sun...More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KIII. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.