Local News

Judge Denies Harnett County Mother Visitation With Surviving Twin

Posted May 29, 2002

— Sandra Odom was back in court for the first time since her mistrial earlier this year.

Just weeks after giving birth to her sixth child, Odom was back in court asking for visitation rights with the surviving twin, Jarrett. The twin's biological mother, Janet Odom, does not want. The judge denied the request.

"I don't think it would serve any interest to have any visitation between the victim and the defendant," prosecutor Margaret Cloutier said.

"She loves Garrett and she was a mother to him for a long time. We will have to wait until trial," said Andrew Schopler, Sandra Odom's attorney.

Investigators said Jarrett drowned last summer while playing in the backyard pool.

The defense plans to argue that Jarrett Odom died of a rare condition called hyponathremia -- a condition of having too little sodium in the blood which results from taking in too much water. The state wants to hire its own medical expert to look at the issue.

The defense's expert on hyponathremia, Dr. Juan Ayus, was not permitted to testify to the jury during the first trial, but he is expected to be the star witness for the next trial.

The trial is scheduled for Sept. 23, but it could be delayed due to the construction of a new courthouse.

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