Odessa teen accused of killing his parents appointed legal guardian

Odessa teen accused of killing his parents appointed legal guardian
James Gabriel "Gabe" McDonald (Source: KWES)

ECTOR COUNTY, TX (KWES) - James Gabriel "Gabe" McDonald, 17 was back in court Thursday morning. This time it was for a guardianship hearing. The Odessa teen is accused of shooting and killing his parents in their bed March 2016.

McDonald's grandfather, Monte Wooten, is now his legal guardian.

The McDonald's $400,000 estate was the hot topic at the hearing. Court documents say Gabe McDonald is the sole beneficiary of the money.

"I discussed it with Gabe and he was glad that his grandfather was gonna do it for him," said McDonald's attorney, Justin Low.

Wooten chose not to comment after the hearing and just said, "We are working on some things."

"Mr. Wooten cares very deeply about Gabe and I know he's very concerned about Gabe," said Low. "That's his grandson and I believe he has his best interest in mind."

With the appointment, Wooten is able to make medical decisions for McDonald and manage money his parents left him.

Court documents say the funds come from a 401K and are in the care of South West Bank in Odessa. If McDonald is not convicted for his parent's death, he gains access to the money when he turns 25. If McDonald is convicted, it goes to his legal guardians and other family members.

"From what I know of the family, they care about him a lot. They understand his mental situation and the things he's going through," said Low.

Low said a tentative trial date is set for early February but that can change because of DNA evidence being gathered and McDonald's mental health.

"I believe that he is more able to assist me at this point than he was originally," said Low. "Whether or not that makes him fully competent is not my call."

After the death of his parents, McDonald's aunt, Karen Hargrove was appointed as his temporary guardian. The appointment only lasted 30 days and was up in April.

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