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Assault case sent to grand jury

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By Sarah Bennett

The case against an Elizabethtown man accused of striking his wife with a handgun will go before the next meeting of the Hardin County grand jury.

Michael R. Odom, 42, is charged with second-degree assault and first-degree wanton endangerment.

He was arrested Oct. 15 after Elizabethtown police were called to his residence on Oriole Drive about a domestic dispute, police said.

Odom appeared Monday in Hardin District Court for a preliminary hearing. Sgt. Brian Graham of Elizabethtown Police Department testified as a witness for the commonwealth.

Graham said police responded to the residence around 9:45 a.m. Oct. 15 and spoke to Odom and his wife, who had visible injuries.

The dispute started around 8 a.m. when Odom entered the bedroom where his wife was sleeping and attempted to initiate sexual contact, Graham said.

When she refused, Odom accused her of infidelity and threw a laptop computer at her, the sergeant said.

He then repeatedly struck his wife in the face with his closed fists, Graham said.

While the woman was on the floor, Graham said Odom retrieved a Smith & Wesson .357-caliber revolver.

“She said she was still dazed from the assault,” he said.

According to Graham, the woman told police she observed Odom with a bullet in his hand, which he loaded into the weapon.

Odom repeatedly struck her about the head and face with the weapon, Graham said. He then pointed the weapon at the woman and pulled the trigger several times, the sergeant said.

A firearm was found at the scene and taken into evidence, he said, but Graham did not recall finding any ammunition.

The woman was treated at the scene by Hardin County EMS and suffered a broken nose and several lacerations, Graham said.

Asked if the injuries were consistent with being struck by a handgun, Graham said, “They were very severe.”

Odom’s attorney, public defender David Stewart, requested Judge David Simcoe not find probable cause in the case as there was no substantial risk of death or serious physical injury.

However, Simcoe ultimately passed the case to the grand jury, citing the allegations that Odom struck his wife with a revolver and she sustained injuries because of that.

“Even without a bullet, if he points a weapon at her, it is wanton endangerment,” the judge said.

Stewart also requested a reduction in Odom’s bond, which is set at $50,000 cash. According to the attorney, Odom previously served as a detective at a Mississippi police department.

Simcoe denied the motion as Odom’s information has not been verified yet by Pretrial Services.

He remains lodged at Hardin County Detention Center. A grand jury has 60 days to return an indictment before Odom is eligible for release.

Sarah Bennett can be reached at (270) 505-1750 or sbennett@thenewsenterprise.com.