Live Oak man on trial in shooting death of girlfriend

Earl James Otter charged with murder in slaying of Abigail Winters

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SAN ANTONIO – A 48-year-old Live Oak man is on trial in connection with the shooting death of his girlfriend.

Earl James Otter is charged with murder in the May 2016 slaying of Abigail Winters, 37, at a home the couple shared in Live Oak.

Otter claims Winters committed suicide, but prosecutors said evidence found at the crime scene points to murder.

Prosecutors said Otter's account of what happened doesn't match up to the evidence, including blood found at the scene and on the victim's body.

"There are characteristics that spatter has, so we're going to look at those characteristics, and we're going to see how those stains are oriented. There appears to be some manipulation that has happened. I would expect because of that wound and because of the blood in her ear, that whole area should be bloody," said Celestina Rossi, of the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office.

If Otter is found guilty of the murder charge, he faces a maximum punishment of 99 years in prison. 

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