Edmonson Voice Staff
A local jury was unable to reach a verdict on Thursday in the Commonwealth's child abuse case against Garnett Richard Odell, 64, of Cave Hollow Bay, where Odell was accused of sexually abusing multiple members of his family that were minors.
Odell was originally indicted in July of 2013 on 10 counts of sex abuse-1st degree, 5 counts of sodomy-1st degree, and 1 count of attempted rape-1st degree.
In November 2013, he was indicted with more charges, including attempted sodomy-1st degree, 11 more counts of sex abuse-1st degree, 5 more counts of sodomy-1st degree, and one more count of attempted rape-1st degree.
In February 2015, Odell faced even more charges as he was indicted on 5 more counts of sex abuse-1st degree.
The trial was originally scheduled for May 27, 2015, but that morning, Odell arrived at the Sheriff's Office with two gunshot wounds in the chest, claiming someone tried to kill him. After investigation, Odell admitted that he'd shot himself in a botched suicide attempt.
The Public Defender's office said that Odell denied all charges and claimed all the accusations were false. The Commonwealth Attorney presented testimony from the alleged victims, investigating officers, and from an expert witness, which was a pediatrician.
The jury deliberated for almost four hours, but couldn't reach a verdict and a mistrial was declared. The case can be tried again if the Commonwealth Attorney's office chooses to do so.
"These cases are extremely difficult for a number of reasons," said Sheriff Shane Doyle, who testified to the May shooting incident. "Physical evidence is hard to come by in cases like this and the jury was faced with the difficult job of processing all of the testimony."