Mark O'Donnell Sentenced to LWOP in Rape and Murder of 14 Yr Old PA Girl

Started by Jeff1857, February 06, 2008, 08:41:39 PM

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February 06, 2008, 08:41:39 PM Last Edit: June 06, 2008, 02:21:44 AM by Jeff1857
Prosecutors will seek the death penalty against a Montgomery County man charged with raping and killing a teen.
Police say 48-year-old Mark O'Donnell admitted killing 14-year-old Ebony Dorsey in December.

She was his girlfriend's daughter and baby-sat for him at the time.
Police say O'Donnell smoked crack before the murder.

Dorsey was a ninth grade honors student at Wissahickon High School.


Days before his death-penalty trial on charges that he murdered his girlfriend's 14-year-old daughter, a Montgomery County man is the focus of a 2006 triple-slaying probe in Philadelphia, court records show.
Montgomery County prosecutors unsealed court documents today that identified Mark Patrick O'Donnell, 48, of Plymouth Township, as a "possible suspect" in the deaths of William Fowler, 53; his wife, Estella, 50; and their son, John, 20, who was quadriplegic.

The Fowlers were fatally shot in their home in the 3200 block of Tulip Street in Port Richmond on May 21, 2006, at 1:04 a.m. Philadelphia police attempted to contact O'Donnell, who worked as a nurse for the family. He ignored a grand-jury subpoena, according to a search-warrant affidavit.

The affidavit says that Philadelphia detectives contacted Montgomery County prosecutors after O'Donnell's arrest in the Dec. 7 rape and strangulation-murder of Ebony Nicole Dorsey, a Wissahickon High honor student. Police said the teen had been baby-sitting O'Donnell's 4-year-old daughter at his home so that he could spend the night smoking crack-cocaine with Dorsey's mother, Danielle Cattie, 34, of Whitpain Township.

Philadelphia investigators wanted Montgomery County officials to execute a search warrant to obtain a DNA sample from O'Donnell, who has been in custody since his arrest in December. Montgomery County First Assistant District Attorney Kevin R. Steele had the record sealed because it makes reference to a secret grand-jury investigation in Philadelphia and because its release could have hampered investigators in both cases, court records said.

Steele, who said he did not know whether O'Donnell's DNA matched evidence in the Fowler case, said today that he had to unseal the documents because O'Donnell's defense attorney, Thomas C. Egan 3d, is entitled to review them before the murder trial, scheduled to begin Tuesday.


Testimony is underway in Montgomery County, Pa. in the murder trial of Mark O'Donnell (in file photo above). He's accused of killing Ebony Dorsey, his former girlfriend's teenage daughter, in his Plymouth Meeting apartment last December. (see previous story)

Ebony's mother, Danielle Cattie, took the stand and told the court her relationship with O'Donnell was based on sex and drugs. She told the judge the two got high on cocaine in her Ambler home during the early morning hours of December 7th while her teenage daughter was babysitting O'Donnell's daughter at his apartment.

Prosecutors contend the 48-year-old man choked Ebony to death and raped her during a cocaine-fueled rage then put her body in a plastic bin and hid it at a relative's home.

The defense says his client acknowledges that he killed Ebony, but says it doesn't rise to first-degree murder and there's no evidence that O'Donnell raped the teen. The prosecution is seeking the death penalty.

Cattie last week pled guilty to child endangerment charges and admitted on the stand that she knows she could get a lighter sentence if her testimony helps the prosecution, but says no deal was cut.


PHILADELPHIA (CBS 3) ―  judge found a Montgomery County man guilty of first degree murder and sexual assault in death of a 14-year-old honors student.

Marc O'Donnell, 48, was accused of the sexual assault and killing of Ebony Dorsey, the daughter of his now ex-girlfriend.

Autopsy results found the Wissahickon High School freshman had been beaten and strangled to death two days before her body was found in December.

Defense attorneys argued O'Donnell had been doing drugs with the victim's mother while the teen babysat his young child.

O'Donnell could face the death penalty as the trial moves to sentencing.


NORRISTOWN, Pa. - June 5, 2008 -- A Montgomery County man was sentenced this evening to life in prison in the slaying of his girlfriend's teenage daughter.
Forty-eight-year-old Mark O'Donnell was convicted earlier Thursday of first-degree murder and sexual assault. Assistant District Attorney Kevin Steele had sought the death penalty.
Authorities say O'Donnell spent the hours before the December murder smoking crack with the mother of 14-year-old Ebony Dorsey.
The honor student was baby-sitting his 4-year-old child. Prosecutors say he then viewed pornography and sexually assaulted Dorsey.
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Defense attorney Thomas Egan argued at the judge-only trial that O'Donnell was too intoxicated to form the intent required for first-degree murder. But, Judge William J. Furber sided with prosecutors after weighing five days of evidence and more than 100 exhibits.
The girl's mother, 34-year-old Danielle Cattie, pleaded guilty in May to drug and child endangerment charges. She is scheduled to be sentenced in October.
Another weak judge. Of course that's why they ask for judge only trials.


NORRISTOWN -- A Plymouth man remained stoic as a judge virtually ensured that he will remain behind bars for the rest of his life for sexually assaulting and killing a 14-year-old girl.

Mark P. O'Donnell, 49, was sentenced in Montgomery County Court on Thursday to life imprisonment for his first-degree murder conviction in connection with the December 2007 murder of 14-year-old Ebony Dorsey, a Wissahickon High School freshman honors student.

Judge William J. Furber Jr. also sentenced O'Donnell to a consecutive 11- to 22-year prison term on charges of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and abuse of a corpse. The additional jail time will make it more difficult for a governor to ever commute O'Donnell's sentence in the future.

"First he committed the sexual offense and then he killed her. Based upon what he put her through in this evil murder I asked for consecutive sentences so that justice would be delivered for both of those crimes," said First Assistant District Attorney Kevin R. Steele, who prosecuted O'Donnell. "That's the just thing to do to a man who committed this evil act."

O'Donnell showed no emotion and did not address the judge before learning his fate. Defense lawyer Thomas C. Egan III said O'Donnell maintains he is innocent of the sexual assault charges.

Judge Furber also classified O'Donnell as a sexually violent predator, finding O'Donnell meets criteria under Megan's Law for the classification.

Dr. Barbara Ziv, a forensic psychologist who evaluates offenders for the Pennsylvania Sexual Offender Assessment Board, testified O'Donnell has a mental abnormality and personality disorder that makes him likely to re-offend in the future.

"Mr. O'Donnell has a high recidivism risk if allowed back in the community," Ziv testified for prosecutors, who sought the predator classification for O'Donnell.

Furber, who presided over O'Donnell's six-day, non-jury trial last summer, convicted O'Donnell of first-degree murder, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and other sex and drug offenses in connection with Dorsey's death.

Steele and co-prosecutor Samantha Cauffman argued for the death penalty for O'Donnell while Egan argued against the death penalty. The judge determined life imprisonment without parole is the appropriate punishment.

Dorsey was last seen alive on the night of Dec. 6, 2007, when O'Donnell, who had a 2 year drug-and-sex relationship with Dorsey's mother, Danielle Cattie, drove her from the Ambler home she shared with her mother to the Plymouth apartment he shared with his estranged wife so Dorsey could baby-sit his 4-year-old daughter.

O'Donnell returned to Cattie's home after midnight on Dec. 7 where he and Cattie shared cocaine, authorities alleged. O'Donnell left Cattie's home around 5:30 a.m. to pick up Dorsey and bring her home.

It was during his return to his apartment that the killing took place, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors contended that O'Donnell, after viewing hundreds of pornographic photos on the Internet at his apartment, sexually assaulted Dorsey and then beat and strangled her to death to prevent her from telling anyone about the sexual attack.

After the killing, O'Donnell stuffed the teenager's body into a 20-gallon storage container and hid it under some leaves and sticks in a wooded area in Blue Bell. The body was discovered less than 48 hours after Cattie reported her daughter missing.

Testimony revealed that O'Donnell's 4-year-old daughter witnessed Dorsey's murder.

During the penalty phase of his trial last June, O'Donnell, who expressed remorse for the slaying but continued to deny the sexual assault, told a judge he didn't want to live.

"I don't want to be selfish because I know my family does not want me to give up, but I have a hard time looking at myself in the mirror. I have lost my faith, and even with Jesus forgiving me, I can't forgive myself. I want to die," O'Donnell testified last June.

Two weeks after his conviction, O'Donnell apparently attempted suicide in his jail cell by using a piece of a disposable razor to cut his wrist. Correctional officers discovered O'Donnell with the injury in his cell, which was in the maximum-security wing of the jail, and immediately summoned medical assistance.

The injury didn't require O'Donnell to be hospitalized and he was treated at the jail's infirmary.

Testimony revealed that O'Donnell served five years in a California prison in the 1980s for shooting another man in the back three times during an argument.


OMG why didn't he get death ????????? What in the hell is wrong with this judge? That poor child and her family?
Justice is not about bringing back the dead. It is not about revenge either. Justice is about enforcing consequences for one's own actions to endorse personal responsibility. We cannot expect anyone to take responsibility for their own actions if these consequences are not enforced in full.

Granny B

January 10, 2009, 07:25:16 PM Last Edit: January 10, 2009, 07:29:14 PM by Grandmother of Brandon

He murdered a man by shooting him in the back.  He raped a 14 year old girl and murdered her in the presence of his own 4 year old daughter.  What kind of trauma do you think this going to have for the 4 year old and the effects on her psyche for the rest of her life?  And those of you who say a 4 year old will get over it or not remember it, you are wrong.  I remember lots of things from when I was 4 years old, and a lot them are not pleasant to think about. 

He has left a man dead, shot in the back.  He has left a 14 year old child dead and a 4 year old mentally crippled for life.

He begged the judge for the death sentence!  And the judge gives him life!

The next time this POS tries to off himself, the corrections officers should just turn their backs on him untll he gets the job done. 8)
" Closure? Closure is a misused word in the English language.  There is no such thing as closure for the family of a murder victim.  There will never be any closure for the death of our loved ones until we are dead ourselves.  The families have a lifetime sentence of anguish and sadness." 
Susan Levy

Heidi Salazar

There have been a few here in VA where I think the CO's did just that..turned their backs. I only posted one story! Another one comes to mind..I want to say it was in Henrico County. "INMATE FOUND DEAD IN CELL" You know what he did?? Shot an officer. I will research that and post a link. 


Hes a model canididate for the DP and recieves LWOP?  :'(

Im not sure if theres a hell, but I believe in executed murderers.

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