Dad Is Lone Supporter of Hammer-Wielding Teen

By R. Stickney
|  Thursday, Dec 17, 2009  |  Updated 1:56 PM PDT
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Girl Accused of Killing Mom Appears in Court

Bob Saxman

Heather D'Aoust smiles at the camera during a previous court appearance.

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Girl Accused of Killing Mom Appears in Court

A judge set a trial date of a teen girl accused of killing her mother with a hammer in May.
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The Scripps Ranch teenager who killed her mother with a claw hammer had one person by her side in court when she changed her plea - the father whom she once threatened to kill as well.

Heather D'Aoust was 14 when her mother, Rebecca D'Aoust , was killed on May 25, 2008. Prosecutors said in court that the 56-year-old woman was struck at least 15 times with the hammer in an attack fueled by a mother-daughter argument.

The day before the killing, according to a San Diego police detective, Heather poured out feelings about killing her parents to a friend whom Rebecca caught having "sexual activity" with Heather in the girl's bedroom -- starting a simmering mother-daughter argument.

Rebecca, a counselor at Spreckels Elementary School, died of head injuries a day after the attack in the family's Scripps Ranch home.

When Heather pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Thursday in a downtown courtroom, the only person outside of attorneys to attend was the father she was once allegedly threatened with the same hammer.

James D'Aoust has been a constant supporter of his daughter since the day of the attack, arranging for legal representation of the daughter that he and his wife had adopted.

Heather was never declared mentally incompetent or insane, according to deputy district attorney, Rick Clabby. She'll serve her time in a Juvenile Facility in Ventura County until she's 18. After that, the Dept. of Corrections will determine where she was housed.

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