Tanner Horner pleads not guilty to kidnapping, killing 7-year-old Athena Strand
WISE COUNTY (CBSNewsTexas.com) — The former FedEx driver accused of kidnapping and killing Athena Strand has pleaded not guilty to aggravated kidnapping and capital murder.
According to arrest records, Tanner Horner confessed to accidentally hitting the 7-year-old girl with his FedEx truck while he was delivering a package to her Wise County home.
Investigators stated Horner said he “panicked” after hitting Strand with his truck, and subsequently abducted and strangled her to death.
Strand’s mother, Maitlyn Gandy, has been vocal about how tough this has been for and her family.
“[It was] probably one of the most difficult moments of her life to see the person who killed her daughter and it’s a moment she’s thought about for a long time,” Gandy’s attorney, Benson Varghese, said. “I suppose its surreal in some senses, but it was of grave importance for her to be there.”
A trial date has not been set yet for Horner, and Strand’s family has filed a separate lawsuit against the contracting company who hired him, as well as FedEx.
© 2023 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.