Casper Man Gets Max Sentence For Killing Man Who Molested His Granddaughter
A Casper man who shot and killed another man last year after learning that he molested his granddaughter could serve out a maximum sentence.
During an hour-long hearing Thursday afternoon, Natrona County District Court Judge Daniel Forgey sentenced Olinza Headd to 17-to-20 years behind bars for manslaughter.
Manslaughter is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
Headd was initially charged with second-degree murder in the January 13, 2021 shooting that left Eugene Hogan III dead. The charges were pleaded down to manslaughter in December.
How would you feel if you just learned your grandchild was molested?
Court documents filed shortly after the shooting detail Headd walking into an apartment, confronting Hogan and fatally shooting him three times.
During Thursday's sentencing hearing, Headd's wife, Valenta Headd, described Olinza Headd learning his young granddaughter had been molested.
"How would you feel if you just learned your grandchild was molested?" Valenta Headd asked. "I want y'all to look at him and know he's no monster."
But Olinza Headd taking the law into his own hands violates American norms, said Natrona County District Attorney Dan Itzen, citing the axiom that the US is a nation of laws.
"We do not take the law into our own hands," Itzen said. "That's why you call law enforcement. That's why we have trials.
"As a society, that's what we do."
Olinza Headd, Itzen said, shot and killed Hogan over "mere allegations." Because Headd took matters into his own hands, Hogan didn't get his day in court.
Itzen said Hogan never had a chance to appear before a jury and deny the allegations against him. Instead, Olinza Head asked about the allegations while holding Hogan and gunpoint.
I did lose control. I hate that I had to be the one to end that man's life. But somebody else would have if he kept touching people's children.
"Then those shots rang out," Itzen said.
Hogan's older sister, Shenandra Richards, described her brother as a "big teddy bear."
Richards noted Olinza Headd served as a deacon at a local church. How, Richards asked, could someone who preaches peace and forgiveness, brutally kill her little brother? "He is a menace to society who takes the law into his own hands," Richards said.
Olinza Headd's attorney, Marty Scott, argued that Olinza Headd should serve probation or a suspended sentence.
Scott noted that the "easy answer" would be to say that since one man is dead, another should serve prison time.
"None of us know what we would do if we received the same information Olinza did," Scott said. "None of us know what we would do if we found out someone was molesting our daughter or granddaughter."
Vigilante justice, Scott said, cannot be condoned, nor can it be excused. Even if Headd were to serve a probation sentence, he would have his actions hanging over his head for the rest of his life.
If I can't find my forgiveness, I will see that man in hell — because we'll both be there.
Olinza Headd also suffers from numerous health conditions. Scott said a lengthy prison sentence would likely equate to a death sentence.
Given his chance to speak, Olinza Headd said he has full respect for the law and law enforcement.
Olinza Headd described receiving news that his granddaughter had been molested at the hands of Hogan and feeling that he'd failed as a grandparent.
The day of the shooting, Headd described going to his daughter's residence — where Hogan also resided with Olinza Headd's daughter — and confronting Hogan.
Olinza Headd said Hogan nonchalantly admitted to touching his granddaughter, but denied having sex with her.
"He tells me he just touched her, as if that's a consolation to me," Olinza Headd said. "So yes, your honor, I shot him.
"I didn't ask for this situation ... until I heard out of his mouth that he touched my granddaughter.
"I did lose control. I hate that I had to be the one to end that man's life. But somebody else would have if he kept touching people's children."
Hogan's friends and family wore t-shirts to the hearing in his honor. On their backs, they read, "In loving memory of Eugene Hogan III. February 18, 1990 - January 13, 2021."
Speaking early in the hearing, Susan Hogan, Eugene Hogan's mother, said many in her family have been in counseling since the January 13, 2021 killing. It's been a daily struggle to find it in herself to forgive Ollinza Headd.
"This has impacted everyone in this courtroom," Susan Hogan said. "If I can't find my forgiveness, I will see that man in hell — because we'll both be there."