Casper Man May Face Habitual Criminal Charge After Burglaries, Car Chase
A Casper man may be charged with being a habitual criminal after he allegedly burglarized four vehicles, stole one, led law enforcement on a chase through east Casper, crashed his stolen car into a police car last week, an Assistant Natrona County District Attorney Mike Blonigen said.
Blonigen mentioned that possibility during the preliminary hearing of Michael Odom in Natrona County Circuit Court on Thursday.
Besides the eight felonies, Odom was charged with misdemeanor counts of interference with a peace officer, failure to stop and driving under the influence. If convicted on all counts, he faces up to 77 years imprisonment,
However, Odom has three prior felony convictions, Blonigen said.
That means if Odom is convicted on the new charges, he also could be charged with being a habitual criminal, which could add decades of imprisonment to any other sentence.
Odom waived the hearing and Judge Steve Brown bound his case over to district court for trial.
Odom's public defender Todd Infanger asked Brown to lower the bond from $50,000 cash only to $25,000 cash or surety.
Blonigen responded that Judge Michael Patchen set Odom's bond at $50,000 during his initial appearance because of the nature of the charges, and asked Brown to keep it that way. Brown agreed.
The case started at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 26, when a Casper police officer saw a black Volvo traveling at a high rate of speed in east Casper, and running through stop signs on Fourth and other streets, according to the affidavit of probable cause.
At 7:33 p.m., the officer received a report of a stolen black Volvo.
The officer and other law enforcement joined the chase.
During the chase, the Volvo driven by Odom drove over a deep dip at Trigood and Texas streets, went airborne, landed on a patch of ice, spun out, and came face to face with the officer's police car.
Odom intentionally drove the Volvo into the police car, according to the affidavit. "The vehicles became stuck together, due to the sheared metal, and mangled frames. The vehicle, having catastrophic damages was consumed by a cloud of smoke."
He left the Volvo, began running, jumped fences, ignored the officer's commands to show his hands, and the officer lost sight of him.
Other officers we're looking for Odom, saw him run across Country Club Road, and two of them tackled him by a fence near St. Patrick's Catholic Church.
Odom was taken to the Wyoming Medical Center for treatment of minor injuries. While there, officers read him his Miranda rights.
The investigation determined both vehicles suffered estimated damages of $5,000 each; an accident during the chase caused $1,000 damage to a yard on Swanton; the Volvo owner said he had been working on his car in his driveway, took some trash into his house and heard the car leave the driveway; and residents on South Pennsylvania and South Nebraska streets reported four auto burglaries.
During an interview with police, Odom said he had an argument with his girlfriend, left her residence, and remembered being chased by police, but didn't remember anything about driving the Volvo.