Man cleared in '04 death of off-duty deputy


GeneralSumter

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I bet this was an expensive legal battle... but what else do you do when a person comes in your yard with an AR15 and an attitude? It's unfortunate that he had to wait this long to be cleared of what seems to be an obvious self-defense shooting, even if it was against a state deputy. They're just "Civilians On Patrol" and not above the law. Glad to see the system working, sorry to hear it had to end with a death.

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COLUMBIA, SC — A man has been cleared in the 2004 shooting death of an off-duty South Carolina sheriff's deputy.

The State reported that 63-year-old Thomas Rye of Eastover was found not guilty of murder late Monday in the death of 22-year-old Robert Odam, a Beaufort County sheriff's deputy from Bluffton.

Rye had shot Odam after a number of Rye's pets had been killed on his property.

Rye was convicted of murder in 2005, but the South Carolina Supreme Court ordered a new trial, saying property owners have the right to use "reasonable force" against a person who is trespassing.

Testimony indicates Odam was carrying an AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifle when he went onto Rye's property on Aug. 14, 2004. The property was fenced and had No Trespassing signs.

Rye had a .30 caliber rifle and fired after a confrontation.
 

This is a strange one.

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"]Earlier that day, Rye, who owns adjacent property, called 911 and said someone had shot a cat on his property and was trying to break into his shed, according to the Richland County Sheriff�s Department. Rye later called 911 again and said he confronted a man on his property and had shot and killed him.

When deputies arrived shortly after 4 p.m., they discovered Odam, 22, had been shot four times with a semiautomatic rifle.

In court, Rye, who pleaded not guilty, said he feared for his life and acted in self-defense when he saw two men trespassing.

Prosecutors said Odam and a friend, Mason Mitchell, had been shooting at stray cats.

The prosecution argued that Rye �lay in wait� for Odam after the initial call to authorities and that Rye had no grounds to believe he was in danger.
"

"Kenneth Mathews, argued that Robb Odam shot at Rye and Rye fired back in self-defense. Rye also claimed defense of habitation, meaning he applied deadly force to prevent entry to his home.

But Zelenka, the prosecutor with the Attorney General's Office, offered a different story about what occurred that day.

In his motion for reconsideration, Zelenka wrote that Robb Odam put his gun on the ground when confronted by Rye, and a witness saw Rye shoot Odam in the back while Odam was lying on the ground.

A medical examiner testified in court that Odam was shot three times in the back and once in the neck.

"


Wierd. I would think they should be able tell if he was laying down when he was shot. And I think taking pics for the Police would heve been better than shooting a guy in the back. But what were they doing on his property shooting his cats?
 
This man deserved it! Im sorry but my cats are my babies and I would not be responsible for losing my mind if I saw anyone hurting my pets. A life for a life. He killed at least 13 and wounded others, and had no business to be on that property. Being a law enforcement officer does not give you the right to do anything you like. This man obviouslly was a sadistic, control freak. Anyone who would shoot defenseless animals deserves the same! If only the law viewed animal abuse the same as child abuse! Had he been shooting orphaned children no one would question this outcome.
 
This is a strange one.

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"]Earlier that day, Rye, who owns adjacent property, called 911 and said someone had shot a cat on his property and was trying to break into his shed, according to the Richland County Sheriff�s Department. Rye later called 911 again and said he confronted a man on his property and had shot and killed him.

When deputies arrived shortly after 4 p.m., they discovered Odam, 22, had been shot four times with a semiautomatic rifle.

In court, Rye, who pleaded not guilty, said he feared for his life and acted in self-defense when he saw two men trespassing.

Prosecutors said Odam and a friend, Mason Mitchell, had been shooting at stray cats.

The prosecution argued that Rye �lay in wait� for Odam after the initial call to authorities and that Rye had no grounds to believe he was in danger.
"

"Kenneth Mathews, argued that Robb Odam shot at Rye and Rye fired back in self-defense. Rye also claimed defense of habitation, meaning he applied deadly force to prevent entry to his home.

But Zelenka, the prosecutor with the Attorney General's Office, offered a different story about what occurred that day.

In his motion for reconsideration, Zelenka wrote that Robb Odam put his gun on the ground when confronted by Rye, and a witness saw Rye shoot Odam in the back while Odam was lying on the ground.

A medical examiner testified in court that Odam was shot three times in the back and once in the neck.

"


Weird. I would think they should be able tell if he was laying down when he was shot. And I think taking pics for the Police would heve been better than shooting a guy in the back. But what were they doing on his property shooting his cats?

This is very strange. Any rookie lab tech can tell if someone was shot in the back. I wonder what the real story is.

Still, you have to wonder what the guy is doing wandering around on someone else's property with an AR15.

In Ohio this guy would be doing life unless he could prove "imminent threat of death or serious bodily harm". Here you cannot shoot to protect property (Except in Castle Doctrine cases). One the guy starts to run away, you have let him go, at least in Ohio.
 
In Ohio this guy would be doing life unless he could prove "imminent threat of death or serious bodily harm". Here you cannot shoot to protect property (Except in Castle Doctrine cases). One the guy starts to run away, you have let him go, at least in Ohio.

While not having done the research, I think you will find this to be true in most jurisdictions. Once an attack, or threat, has ceased, self defense no longer applies.
 
You would kill a human over a cat? And you carry?:fie:

Yes I would, but no I do not carry. However if someone was threatning my animals I would certainly be propelled to purchase a weapon to defend my pets. A human, especially an ARMED human can defend themself. Animals (pets) are completely dependant on their gaurdians for their welfare. They have no defense against sadistic people except other people who will defend them.:cray:
 
Wtf?

From the article:

"A man convicted of murdering an off-duty Beaufort County sheriff�s deputy was released from state prison Wednesday, possibly because of a paperwork foul-up by the state attorney general�s office.

"Thomas Grover Rye, 60, was found guilty of murdering Robert T. �Robb� Odam during a dispute in Eastover on Aug. 14, 2004. He was sentenced to 30 years and had served 10 months before his release on bail earlier this week."


How is someone granted bail after they've been convicted and sentenced to 30 years? I don't get it!
 
This man deserved it! Im sorry but my cats are my babies and I would not be responsible for losing my mind if I saw anyone hurting my pets. A life for a life. He killed at least 13 and wounded others, and had no business to be on that property. Being a law enforcement officer does not give you the right to do anything you like. This man obviouslly was a sadistic, control freak. Anyone who would shoot defenseless animals deserves the same! If only the law viewed animal abuse the same as child abuse! Had he been shooting orphaned children no one would question this outcome.

It's kind of scary that you would post something like this. I hope you do not carry.
I love my dog more than most people but I still recognize the difference between people and animals. If someone killed my dog I'd be enraged but I know that it is not justification for killing a person, no matter how messed up they may be. If the person came at me after killing my pet I would fire but that is the only way.
 

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