O'Bryan accepts plea deal, gets 25-year sentence in student's mu - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

O'Bryan accepts plea deal, gets 25-year sentence in student's murder

Gregory O'Bryan (Source: WAVE 3 News archives) Gregory O'Bryan (Source: WAVE 3 News archives)
Andrew Compton (Source: Family photo) Andrew Compton (Source: Family photo)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The Louisville man charged with killing Sullivan University student Andrew Compton and dumping his body accepted a plea deal in the case on Monday. Gregory O'Bryan, 43, had been expected to stand trial later this month.

O'Bryan made an Alford plea to the murder charge, meaning he admitted there was enough evidence to convict him, but he did not admit to the killing. O'Bryan also pleaded guilty to sexual abuse of a corpse, abuse of a corpse and tampering with physical evidence for cleaning the crime scene and disposing a Compton's body. In exchange, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison. The 974 days he already has served behind bars will be credited from his sentence.

[PREVIOUS STORY: O'Bryan offered plea deal in Andrew Compton's death]

Compton was an 18-year-old college freshman when he was killed in October 2010. He had just started his freshman year at Sullivan University when he died.

Andrew's mother, Angela, says her son loved chocolate and dreamed of becoming a chef since he was a child.

Judge Mitch Perry told the court on Monday that O'Bryan and Compton met online and that O'Bryan gave Compton alcohol at O'Bryan's apartment on Lucia Avenue in the Highlands, then bound him with electrical wire so tightly, it left marks. After the two had sex. Perry told the court, Compton either died or lapsed into a coma and that O'Bryan failed to render medical aid or call 911. Perry said O'Bryan sodomized Compton, then dragged him onto a bed, fell asleep and later had sex with Compton's corpse. O'Bryan then put the body in a box and disposed of it in a dumpster outside Our Lady of Peace psychiatric hospital on Newburg Road. The trash bin's contents were traced to a landfill in Medora, IN, but Compton's remains were never found, despite an extensive search. Perry said Compton's personal belongings were placed in the same trash bin.

[PREVIOUS STORY: O'Bryan murder case to get new prosecutor]

Angela Compton read an emotional statement just before O'Bryan was sentenced. She began her remarks by talking about the types of disasters from which parents protect their children. "What happened to Andrew was not a natural disaster," Compton said. "It was man made, and it was a diabolical force."

The prosecutor admits it would have been tough to take the case to trial without having Compton's body but said they were prepared.

"For us we wanted him to admit what he did," said prosecutor Lisa Cartier Giroux. "Yes, it's much harder to prove a case when there isn't a body what this case shows is if you try to hide evidence for what you did we will go after you and bring you to justice."

Prosecutors had in the past offered O'Bryan a plea deal calling for a guilty plea to charges of murder, sodomy, tampering with physical evidence and sexual abuse of a corpse and a sentence of 40 years. That deal obviously didn't happen and the sodomy charge was dismissed on Monday.

O'Bryan's trial would have started on Friday had there not been a plea deal.

Angela Compton told O'Bryan he would have "numerous years to contemplate what you've done and the sins that you've committed. But it's not up to me to forgive you," she added. "Only God can do that."

O'Bryan is eligible for parole in 17 years.

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