Local News

Jury To Continue Deliberations Monday In Odom Retrial

Posted September 27, 2002

— The jury in the trial of Sandra Odom went home without a verdict after deliberating for more than two hours.

Jurors asked to come back Monday to see several pieces of evidence, including the transcript of Odom's 911 call, transcripts of Odom's interviews with the police and phone records.

Odom is accused of leaving her 4-year-old twin stepsons, Jarrett and Garrett Odom, alone in the family's pool. Jarrett died in the incident while Garrett survived. Odom is charged with involuntary manslaughter and misdemeanor child abuse.

During closing arguments, prosecutors painted Odom as a neglectful mother who left her stepsons alone in the pool.

"She wants you desperately to believe that she is a good mother," Prosecutor Margaret Cloutier said. "All that time, Jarrett and Garrett tried to hang on to the edge of that pool but their little arms bent to keep their arms above water."

Defense attorneys countered by saying Odom was not a perfect parent, but that she was not responsible for Jarrett's death or Garrett's injuries.

"We are not giving her a report card on parenting. We are judging whether she is guilty of a crime," defense attorney Tom Maher said.

Friday morning, the state presented an expert to counter the defense theory that the boys suffered from a rare condition called water intoxication.

"I'm in agreement with the medical examiner that Jarrett Odom died of drowning," said an expert from Georgetown University.

The doctor testified that it was unlikely that Jarrett died as a result of gulping too much water while swimming with his stepmother.

"I do not believe that within the timeframe that I read of the events that transpired on the fifth of July, 2001, that that could have happened by ingestion of water," he said.

If convicted, Odom faces two years in prison.

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