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Dying Too Young: Heather Garoutte

Oklahoman Modified: March 27, 2009 at 7:09 pm •  Published: March 25, 2009
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Name: Heather Garoutte

Age: 16

Place of residence: Tulsa

Died: June 30, 2007

What happened: Heather was shot in the head by her ex-boyfriend, Preston Plum, while the two were talking in the kitchen of her apartment. Plum fled the scene and later claimed it was an accident. A jury found Plum guilty of first-degree manslaughter.

Other: Heather's mom, Karen Ziegler, said Heather was a good daughter and hard worker. “She was so loving. Her nieces and nephews were her world,” she said. “Everyone misses her bad.” Ziegler said she's satisfied with the outcome of Plum's trial. “We really don't know if it was an accident for sure. All we have is his word. Regardless, he was a 16-year-old boy and knew better than to play with guns.” Heather's older sister, Nicole Hicks, created an online memorial for Heather at www.virtualmemorials.com. Hicks said Heather was a good person who never hurt anyone. “Due to this tragedy, we live our days now with the belief that Heather is our guardian angel, always looking down on us,” Hicks said. “The many people that know Heather can testify that she was a beautiful person, inside and out. She had a big heart and smile that we all miss.”

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