Stephen Odom was sentenced Friday to life in prison in connection the 2012 death of 3-year-old Ja'Kyra Henderson. The sentence resulted from a jury trial in which Odom was found guilty of a first degree felony.
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, with multiple injuries to her internal organs, all at various stages of healing.
A Crime Stoppers segment aired on the first anniversary of Jakyra's death, which led to a call from a friend of the family. She informed police that Jakyra's older brother Jacob told her that he had seen Odom "punch" his sister in the stomach.
Under Texas law, a life term for Odom means that he cannot be considered for parole until his actual time served (plus any "good time" credits awarded by penitentiary officials) equals thirty (30) years.