Local News

Prosecution, Defense, Odoms React To Mistrial Decision

Posted January 29, 2002

— A Harnett County judge has declared a mistrial in the case of a woman charged in the drowning death of her stepson.

The jury remained deadlocked 7-5 after nine hours of deliberations.

"There's no reasonable possibility or probability of the jury's agreement upon a verdict," said Judge James Ammons. As a result, he said, "The court, on the motion of the defendant, declares a mistrial."

"I'm not relieved because justice wasn't served yet and hopefully it will [be] soon," said Sandra Odom, who prosecutors say left her two stepsons alone in the family's swimming pool last July.

"The only other thing I want to say is that we miss Jarrett," she said. "It's not about me going to jail. We miss him as well. And we haven't had a chance to grieve. This is hard on the whole family, both sides. It's just terrible."

Odom's husband, Claude, said he would like to see another trial take place.

"Just look forward to getting all of the evidence presented in the next trial. There will be no plea," he said.

Odom's lawyers say she never left the boys alone. They also presented a medical expert who suggested Jarrett could have died from water intoxication. His twin Garrett survived the incident and is now living with his biological mother, Janet Odom, who is fighting for full, permanent custody of him.

"It's not over until it's over, and I want justice for my son Jarrett," Janet Odom said after the mistrial was declared. "I'll do what it takes for my son. He is not coming back. She has all of her children and that all I have to say right now."

"In my wildest dreams, I don't understand that they could not come up with a verdict with the evidence," said Jean Beasley, a friend of Janet Odom.

Assistant District Attorney Margaret Cloutier says it is disappointing to go through the work of a trial without the end result of a verdict. She also says she does intend to try this case again.

"We're prepared to have another jury come in and hear because we believe with a full and fair trial, she'll be vindicated," defense attorney Tom Maher said.

One juror said that the panel had "pretty much made up our mind one way or the other."

  • January 28, 2002:

    Harnett Judge Declares Mistrial In Odom Case

  • January 25, 2002:

    Jurors Hear Testimony From Father Who Lost Son In Harnett County Drowning

  • January 23, 2002:

    Trial Begins For Angier Woman Accused In Drowning Death Of Stepson

  • December 11, 2001:

    Odom Receives More Visitation With Surviving Twin Son, Continues Custody Fight

  • October 10, 2001:

    Woman Charged in Drowning Case Due in Court

  • August 2, 2001:

    Mother Seeks Custody of Surviving Son After His Twin Drowns

  • July 16, 2001:

    Judge: Stepmother Of Drowning Victim Cannot Be Alone With Her Children

  • July 13, 2001:

    Angier Stepmother Charged in Death Of 4-Year-Old

  • July 13, 2001:

    Angier Child Drowns In Backyard Pool; Twin Brother Remains Hospitalized

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