Victim’s attorney sheds light on harrowing events following the shooting of a local businessman.

Updated: Jul 15


By SARA VANDEN BERGE


A little more than two weeks after a shooting in Erath County that left one man hospitalized and another charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a possible motive is finally beginning to surface.


James Beam, the attorney hired by victim Jeff Collins, told Beneath the Surface News that his client has been released from the hospital.

Collins’ wife, Amanda Collins, issued a statement Tuesday saying, “This incident has turned our world upside down, but the support given to us from family, friends, customers and the entire Stephenville community has been overwhelming. I am so proud to raise our family and own a business in this amazing town.”


Meanwhile, as her husband continues to recover, 75-year-old suspect Ronald Oddo has been released from the Erath County Jail after posting bond.


He has been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

A TIMELINE OF EVENTS


For the first time since the shooting, a clearer picture of the events that reportedly led up to that day are coming in to focus.


In a telephone interview on behalf of the family, Beam confirmed certain details of the shooting.


He said that in the days prior to the incident, Collins, who owns AA Water Systems in Stephenville, installed a water softener at Oddo’s home on Meadow Bend Circle.

At the time, Oddo also asked Collins if he would help install a water line to his chicken coop.


“(Collins) agreed to help with the project and told Oddo he would come back at a later time to install the water line,” Beam said. “Collins ordered the material and had it delivered to Oddo’s home.”


Meanwhile, Collins’ mother had been having some health issues, so the family traveled to Yuma, Arizona to move her to Stephenville.


While the family was in Arizona, Beam said Oddo’s communications continued to escalate.

“On the day (Collins) returned home – June 24 – he went straight to Oddo’s house like he said he would,” Beam said.


Beam said Collins described Oddo as “quiet” that day, until around noon when Collins prepared to leave, saying he would return the following week to finish the job.


Collins got into his truck to leave, but exited the vehicle at the prompting of Oddo for further discussions.


Oddo reportedly told Collins that he was upset about the progress of the job, then shot him in the stomach.

Collins was able to remain lucid and began begging for his life as Oddo allegedly held a gun to his head, Beam said.


Then Collins got back into the truck, put his thumb into the bullet hole to slow the bleeding and drove himself to the hospital.


On his way to Texas Health Stephenville, he called 9-1-1 and was later airlifted to a Fort Worth hospital where he underwent extensive surgery.


Beam said the family is now focused on keeping their business going while the case makes its way through the judicial system.

“Thousands of local residents have welcomed Mr. Collins into their homes over the past decade and a half,” Beam said. “He treats his customers like family and simply didn’t think a person in our community was capable of something like this.”


District Attorney Alan Nash said he is unable to comment on the case at this time.

“I have complete faith in (Sheriff) Matt Coates and our sheriff’s department that they will see Ronald Oddo is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law so he will no longer be a threat to my family or any other family in Erath County,” Amanda Collins said.